SSN: Chapter 96 – Dismay

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Chapter 96 Dismay.

Chapter 96 – Dismay


Too-too-too-too-too.

Above the burning battlefield, two US army helicopters were in the air.

The government made a big deal about deciding whether to attack the rebel’s stronghold or not, but the US had been carrying out a small scale guerrilla attack on the insurgents for a while now. Moreover, the A team had rescued countless hostages and destroyed numerous key infrastructures. They had completed numerous missions.

The men wore sunglasses and all of them had an inner-ear mic. The noisy rotor of the helicopter didn’t interfere with their conversation.

“Wow. What the hell are we seeing right now?”

“It’s surprising.”

“Leader. I guess we have nothing to do?”

A Team leader Bron surveyed the battlefield where the winner had already been decided. He shook his head from side to side.

The infrastructure was destroyed: there were fallen buildings and craters had formed on the road from the bombardments. It was proof of how fierce the battle had been.

The creepy part was that there wasn’t a single corpse of the enemy or allies on the field.

All of the enemy’s corpses were used as medium to summon the Skeleton Soldiers. Moreover, Kahng-woojin was very careful about who he considered to be an ally, so he had been alone.

“To think it’s possible for a single person to settle all of this by force. It’s surprising.”

“Doesn’t it kind of make you depressed thinking about how long we had trained? I should have just raised my Roused Rank.”

This US Special Forces unit was composed of Rank D and above Roused.

Their battle capability, as well as their ability to the carry out a mission, was on par with a Rank A Roused. However, when he saw with his own eyes the unbelievable result accomplished by the Rank AA Kahng-woojin, his own efforts seemed very trivial in comparison.

“Isn’t he really a one man army?”

“Korea could give their entire defense budget to Kahng-woojin for his pay.”

“Hahaha. They could seriously do that.”

“It kind of makes me feel the futility of it all. What the hell were we doing in the battlefield up until now?”

“It isn’t as if we suck. That guy is just extraordinary.”

“It’s hard to even call him a person now.”

One after another, Kahng-woojin sent the Death Knights along with the Skeleton Soldiers under their command into the Summoning Room.

“Well, since the long battle is over, let’s go in to close this.”

“Let’s head down.”

At the leader’s word, the helicopters started to slowly descend.

When the helicopters landed, Woojin sent back in all the Skeleton Soldiers under his command. Unfortunately, he had to cancel his summoning on the Skeleton Magicians.

If no one controlled the Skeletons, they would revert back into being monsters.

Everyone witnessed the grand sight of over 1000 Skeleton Magicians falling to the ground.

“You guys did well.”

“I’ve recovered a lot of my power-ahong. In a little while, I’ll be able to be summoned with my real body-ahong.”

“That’s great. You suffered a lot.”

While she was maintaining her cat form, she was capable of using her Nightmare and Hallucination without any problem. However, there was a gap in power.

If Bibi was summoned in her real form, her power was quite fierce. She would be able to use Mass Hallucination.

Bibi had leveled up, and she had slowly built up her power until she was close to being able to materialize her true form. However, it also helped that the ambient Mana level of earth had increased.

“Ooh-ha-ahm. Then I’ll see you at the next battlefield-ahong.”

Bibi let out a yawn. She turned into black smoke which scattered into the air. Woojin turned to look at Dolsae.

“You should also go in.”

[Goo-goo-goo-gook.]

With the sound of steel snapping, Dolsae’s shook his messed up body. The steel armors surrounding him started to fall off one by one. Soon a scrap heap was formed. Dolsae’s heart popped out of the pile and disappeared.

The helicopters had landed earlier, but the media vehicles were the first to approach. When they were by Woojin’s side, the A team was also on their way towards him.

“May we interview you?”

Reporter Tom’s voice was cautious, and it was shaking from nervousness.

“No.”

“Yes. All right.”

Tom didn’t ask any further. He turned the live broadcasting camera over to the battlefield. He announced the birth of a messiah and the end of the terrorists. He babbled on about the birth of a guardian of world peace.

After ending the live broadcast, he quickly came over to Woojin and lowered his head.

“Where are you going to go now?”

“I’m going back to Korea, so you don’t have to follow me any more.”

“Ah…!”

Tom let out a sigh. He had thought Woojin would continue his fight to completely eradicate the terrorists, but it seemed he planned to go back to his home country. However, Tom couldn’t carelessly block Woojin from doing so.

“Thank you. The people of the world and the people here will never forget about Kahng-woojin-nim.”

“You guys did well. I’ll see you next time.”

“…….”

Woojin waved his hand towards the reporters, then he walked towards the A Team who was walking towards him. Tom felt his heart tremble as he watched Woojin’s back get farther away.

He thought that he would never feel such a sense of anticipation even if he was lying down on the same bed as the most beautiful woman in the world.

“Next time….”

Woojin’s last word gave him a weird sense of anticipation. Moreover, it felt as if Tom had been given recognition by Woojin, so he didn’t move from the spot for awhile.

Woojin left the reporters, then headed towards the A team.

It was a very strange battlefield where only the sole victor was alive. A Team’s leader Bron respectfully requested a handshake.

Woojin was acquainted with the A Team. The A Team had helped him come up with the plan of getting captured by the insurgents.

“I must congratulate you for this unbelievable result.”

“Well, why are you guys here?”

A human killed other humans, so why would he need praise?

Death was merely a curse. Only the living could be blessed by victory. As a Necromancer, nothing made him more uncomfortable when someone praising a murderer.

Woojin immediately changed the subject as he asked his own question.

“We’ve come to get you.”

“I never called for you.”

“What?”

Bron was taken aback, but he eventually caught on that Woojin was making a joke.

“The government has yet to approve a direct conflict, so only the A Team was sent in as support.”

“So you just watched me from afar.”

“…….”

Bron couldn’t dispute Woojin’s blunt statement. Truthfully, the A team’s orders from Rogers was to, ‘save Kahng-woojin if the battle was progressing unfavorably.’

The US government never thought a single person could end a war that they didn’t even dare to start.

“Let’s leave it at that. Let’s go.”

“Yes. Let’s return.”

At the leader Bron’s order, the A Team surrounded Woojin as if they were an escort. Then they ran towards the helicopters. The reporters wanted to capture this image, so they were busy pressing down on the shutters.

“Do you think he’ll be ok?”

“What are you talking about?”

The British reporter Jonie asked Tom a question.

“Over 20 thousand people have lost their lives.”

“Mmm.”

“Kahng-woojin killed so many people by himself.”

“What are you trying to say?”

Tom replied with an uncomfortable expression on his face. Was Jonie trying to imply Kahng-woojin was a mass murderer? Tom worked himself up as if his idol had been insulted. Jonie took a step backwards and waved his hands.

“This was a war. I’m just worried about Mr. Kahng-woojin.”

“What about him?”

“Look at the soldiers who returned from war. They suffer from PTSD.”

At Jonie’s words, Tom immediately put on a worried expression. He summoned Skeleton Soldiers from the corpses to fight, but in the end, Woojin was mainly responsible for their actions.

He had killed countless number of people by himself. Wouldn’t his heart be wounded?

The act of killing not only harmed the victim, it also made the perpetrator sick.

Woojin was putting the burden of killing tens of thousands of lives on himself. He couldn’t help but worry about Woojin’s mental state. He was sure Woojin had received some trauma to the mind.

He had been fooled by the tough exterior shown by Woojin.

Woojin was a savior sent by the heaven to end the war on terror.

However, in the end, he was human. He was the same as them.

“My god.”

Tom’s face turned serious.

Woojin’s stress level must have reached an extreme level. What would happen if he heard negative comments in his current state?

Wouldn’t it be like a person saving someone and the rescuer being hit with an assault charge?

“We’ve got some work to do.”

They had to stop any negative public opinions from forming. This man was not a murderer. He was a war hero. Each of them had varying career length as war correspondents, but all 30 reporters had resolutely determined expressions.

They had to help him.

From now on they had to fight for the man who had save them. It was for Kahng-woojin, who would be having a hard time.

*

Too-too-too-too.

The rotor sound rang in Woojin’s ear. He had folded his arms and his eyes were tightly shut.

As soon as he got on the helicopter, Woojin didn’t move from that posture. No one from the A team dared to converse with him.

Woojin mediated with his eyes closed, and he relaxed his tightly wound heart. He let go of his nervousness, and his consciousness became fuzzy as if he had given himself into the care of the world.

He was in a dreamlike state. When his self-control became weaker, the evil spirits inevitably started to crawl around him.

The evil spirits clung to Woojin’s body.

They stuck to Woojin’s body as if they were poltergeists, who couldn’t leave because of deep resentments.

‘I’m sorry.’

Woojin looked at the soul which was a lighter shade of black. He sent his intent towards the evil spirit of the nameless girl. The evil spirit trembled, then it started circling around Woojin in harmony with the other evil spirits.

He had apologized.

That was the end. Now he didn’t care if she had decided to haunt him…

‘It’s been awhile since I run amok.’

Woojin’s thoughts deepened as he looked at the evil spirits.

If he wanted to save someone, then he had to kill someone.

He wasn’t a god, so how could he decide who lived and who died?

When souls became evil spirits, they swore, cursed, and resented him. Ironically, it allowed Woojin to hold on to his sanity.

It was an appropriate punishment for his actions, and it lowered his sense of guilt.

‘It feels dirty.’

Woojin frowned with his eyes still closed.

His past had been too brutal for him to be afraid of killing people.

‘My adolescence has already passed.’

He had lived a really rough and brutal life. He would become lost in such thoughts. The soft high schooler had become the Immortal, and he was still alive.

He just killed those who had to be killed.

His mind was unaffected, but he couldn’t help but feel dirty.

Woojin opened his eyes at Bron’s call.

“We’ve arrived.”

“…yes.”

Woojin focused on his consciousness and reordered his mind. After a brief amount of time, the evil spirits in front of his eyes disappeared. Then the sight of the Bagram Air Force Base came into view.

“Are you doing some kind of sports meet? Why are all these people gathered outside?”

“…Hooot.”

Bron couldn’t help, but laugh at Woojin’s words.

He was a hero yet how could he lack so much self-awareness on what he had accomplished?

Too-too-too-too.

The helicopters landed on the landing pad. The soldiers were on parade with the landing pad at center.

Every soldier in the air base had shown up here. It didn’t matter if one was on duty or on a patrol. Everyone stopped what they were doing, and they had come out here.

They came to greet the hero who had ended the war.

Too-too-too-too.

When the helicopter landed, Woojin got off.

General David stood foremost in front of the soldiers on parade. He was standing being buffeted by the wind made by the helicopter. The staff, the Special Roused Division’s Rogers, and the other officers stood a step behind him.

“What?”

Woojin approached general David with a playful smile on his face. Soon, the helicopters powered down and the A team followed behind Woojin.

[Attention!]

Chwa-chahk!

At Roger’s voice, all the soldiers came to parade rest. Woojin’s eyebrow rose at the energy of their synchronized movement. Then, he put on a playful expression.

[Put your respect into your salutes!]

“Sir!”

Their hands rose at the same time.

Their shouts filled the runway.

Wooijn smirked as he looked around his surrounding. Everyone gathered there was raising their hand in salute. The members of the A Team, the intelligence officer Rachel, the pilots of the helicopter, the non-combatant military personnel and even the military engineers…

General David, who had lived for the past 30 years going from one battle to another, was also saluting towards him.

It was filled with respect and thanks….

“This….”

Woojin awkwardly raised his hand and he placed it next to his right eyebrow.

“Am I doing this right?”

The members of the A Team smiled. General David, who was facing them, laughed.

He thanked the hero who had ended this damnable war.

“They are welcoming you back with a hero’s welcome.”

David spoke, giving a slight gesture with his hand as if he was guiding Woojin. Then he turned around. With them at the center, the soldiers in parade rest parted to make way for them.

“Well, this is a bit embarrassing.”

Well, this wasn’t too bad.

When Woojin started to walk, the US soldiers all clapped and cheered to greet the hero.

“Thanks to you I’ll be able to go back to my family now.”

“I’ve lost 5 of my mates to those bastards. Thank you.”

“Thank you..”

“I will be able to go back home now.”

Whenever Woojin took a step, he heard dozens of people talking to him. His ears were numb, but it wasn’t a bad feeling.

The tail end of Woojin’s lips lifted a little bit.

‘Well, I guess this isn’t too bad in its own way.’

This was the first time.

These people were welcoming him without fear and worship.

Woojin reached the end of the road opened by the soldiers. When Woojin stopped, the Holy Maiden was standing in front of him.

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9 thoughts on “SSN: Chapter 96 – Dismay” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. Death was merely a curse. Only the living could be blessed by victory. As a Necromancer, nothing made him more uncomfortable when someone praising a murderer.

    Dude, you just butchered thousands of people… I’ll agree that praising a murderer’s odd, but how is it that’s still something you care about?

    1. Ethics’s always complicated ;).

      “If they really should eat flesh, they should do it in the darkest corners of their caves…” (c) Stanislav Lem

      “When the priest is going to eat of the meat of the God’s sacrifices, he should display it to the congregation, shaking abouve his head, not to carry away to his tent stealthily” (c) Moses

      Moses’ ethics is more practical one. But in theory, one may argue for the Lem’s truth too.

      “In Heinlein’s Martian society it is common for Martians to eat their dead, even committing suicide if food is scarce. Don’t worry, Martians evolve to an enlightened spectral state upon death, so it’s not as gruesome as it sounds.”

      – right. Even Heilein’s position is defendable…

      1. “In Heinlein’s Martian society it is common for Martians to eat their dead, even committing suicide if food is scarce. Don’t worry, Martians evolve to an enlightened spectral state upon death, so it’s not as gruesome as it sounds.”

        The sacrifice of one volunteer or the starvation of multiple people? One might argue that the death of 1 is preferable for the survival of the rest. The greater good and all that.

    2. I may be late, but here is my take on this part. He understands he is a Necromancer. He is also a murderer, heck a slaughterer even. A necromancer is one close to death the most. They plays with it like a toy. But unlike normal Necros, he dislikes death. He accepts it because it is necessary, that is how he copes with killing numerous people, that is what his evil spirits signify. That is the reason he dislikes people glorifying murder. Also he grew up in Alphen, the world was constantly at war. Killing and murders are common. He has to kill to survive. He made Alandal, the only country at peace, unless something breached his borders under the intent to attack, everything is calm. He clearly doesnt kill unless provoked in Alphen, and unless he needs the EXP of course. Probably he went calm after reaching the gods and becoming the Immortal, but still he kept his desire to return to Earth.

      In terms of Ethics, there is no binding ethics in Alphen due to the state the world is in, but there is ethics on Earth(not like everyone follows it). He grew up in Alphen, so his ethics are twisted unlike common people of earth.

  2. Well this was a really nice chapter to read. Just goes to show no matter what kind of action you do there will be consequences and there will also be positive results. It all just depends on how you take them into account and how you let it affect yourself. I truly give my sincere praise to the author for this. Not only is his work filled with laughter, seriousness, and a whole bunch of other things you don’t usually see in other novels, or rather see them presented in those other novels in a somewhat crude way, he still is able to deliver a profound message to his readers.

    I truly do thank you for sharing your talent to all us readers. Am really liking reading this novel not just for the fun of it but because I consider it as a masterpiece as well. Probably the second or third novel that I find presenting realistic truths (don’t know if you’ll get my meaning here) in a manner one can enjoy and take on seriously.

  3. “Korea could give their entire defense budget to Kahng-woojin for his pay.”

    I laughed at how true this is, damn. He has already proven in that other world that he could easily destroy entire kingdoms…

    He had killed countless number of people by himself. Wouldn’t his heart be wounded?
    The act of killing not only harmed the victim, it also made the perpetrator sick.
    Woojin was putting the burden of killing tens of thousands of lives on himself. He couldn’t help but worry about Woojin’s mental state. He was sure Woojin had received some trauma to the mind.

    Yeah, these guys doesn’t know anything about Woojin, otherwise they wouldn’t say or think something like this 😀 If his subordinates heard them, they’d laugh their asses off.

    1. On the surface, mass murder comes naturally to Woojin. But it’s description here is a bit more complicated.

      Well, even I Wan (First Prince chinish) The Terrible Bloodsucker Vasilievich (russian king) prayed a lot before and after his crimes. For the most part, it wasn’t the public display, but the signs of his mental illness.

      Just like with these religious terrorists, really. From his own viewpoint, he was charged with the impossible (imperial) task by his God. He had to use the most extreme means just to approach the problem, as he lacked the ability to achieve anything positive by conventional means.

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