Biyeon took a deep breath. She could smell a hint of fishy brininess in the air. The number of times San mis-chewed his food and bit into the sides of his mouth grew.
His teeth started to shake and fall out, and new teeth started to grow out and take their place. The new teeth were sharper and stronger. Biyeon would feel her throat becoming increasingly parch. She didn’t know how much longer she could handle San’s painful process of destruction and creation. Furthermore, whenever there was a lull, San would throw out seemingly nonsensical questions.
‘Why should we keep suffering? Will anything become better? Like there’s something we could look forward to!”
Confrontation – Chapter 2
“Are you alright?”
“How much time has passed?”
San gingerly got up and rotated his arms. He touched his legs and swung his torso around his hips. He started progressing through the stages of Acceleration while monitoring the response of his body. Then, he broke out into a smile.
“Hmm. It seems the recovery went well. It seems like some parts have improved. Thanks.”
Biyeon fidgeted as she stared at San. She seemed to want to state something. However, soon, a bright smile that matched the illuminating morning rays entering through the window appeared on Biyeon’s face. It seemed that the first confrontation had finally ended.
“Well, we really did it this time. Since we killed her precious subordinates, I’m fairly certain Siluone isn’t all that happy with us right now.”
Biyeon started giggling.
“Everything we do is like that. Another day, another accident.”
San scratched the back of his head. If the gods or sages heard their conversation, they’d probably say something along the lines of – all hell has broken loose – well… in reality, all hell had broken loose.
San and Biyeon didn’t have a firm plan. However, they knew that this was just the start.
Fighting an unknown opponent in an unknown world meant that they’d have to wade through a plethora of chaotic situations and constant confrontations. Though they could plan and train a hundred times about what they would do, the battlefield dictated the actual actions that they would take. No matter if something was repeated a thousand or ten thousand times, the battlefield dictated how things would turn out.
Both thought that expecting anything of the future would be a foolish act. In such a situation as they were in, it was better to be flexible and understanding of each other’s propensities, strengths, and weaknesses, much like a veteran jazz group. They understood the necessity and importance of improvisation.
Confrontations and battles were the true hallmarks of places that encompassed utter chaos and snap judgements. In these places, it was often needed to rely more on feel than mental capacity. Regardless, they had won.
“Whether it be the gods or sages, if they’re beings that are logical, they approach the battlefield in a logical manner. Since they were so predictable, it was relatively easy this time around.”
“Drunken, chaotic, and unstructured fighting style is pretty scary.”
“Uh… anyway… what are you doing?”
“I’m writing up a post-combat report. There’s a lot of things I need to sift through and organize.”
“It must feel like drafting your own will. Since we’re so close to death, a lot of weird thoughts are passing through our minds, right?”
“Hahaha… it’s not to that extent.”
“You seem pretty bright? Were you able to learn something new?”
“After having a discussion with our new friends, a lot of past mysteries and gaps have been answered and filled in.”
Biyeon nodded her head.
From that point forward, the members of the Outsiders often came to visit the two.
The discussions they had were just as important and necessary for the Outsiders members as it was for San and Biyeon.
The Outsiders were known to be an organization closer to the Dark Guilds than the martial arts clans, like the Absolute Clans. However, in reality, they were the ones who were maintaining the balance of the human world.
From urban planning to architecture, compatibility and flow, and reform and expulsion were their primary skills and areas of expertise.
In comparison, their combat abilities were lacking. Their skills and expertise were not conducive to warfare. Previously, they covered their weaknesses through the support of two sources:
- The ruler of humans, the emperor, and the most powerful martial artists, the Han-Sung Clan.
- Those who ruled over nature, the dragons and sages.
However, at this moment, one pillar, the sages, was crumbling down. Actually, the sages were becoming the problem. They had entered this world without the express consent of the Creator, so they were beings who had gone against the natural laws established by the Creator. They could no longer trust the King of Sages, Senun, any longer.
It was the time for humans to take care of human concerns. Even the Outsiders found it difficult to fully understand how things would play out. What was happening in this world? What was the reason and what was the solution?
When they were having these thoughts, San and Biyeon had entered their world and fell on their radar. They were individuals that the Outsiders had yearned for. Actually, San and Biyeon went above and beyond the Outsiders' expectations.
- They possessed a treasure trove of data on the dragons and sages,
- They possessed highly developed martial skills, knew the strengths and weaknesses of skills, and understood how to control the macro-flow of battle and war,
- They possessed and produced extremely effective and new weaponry,
- They controlled the dark, hidden underground world that existed in this world.
These were what was obviously clear. To be sure, there was probably a lot more that San and Biyeon possessed that the Outsiders had not grasped or understood yet. The people most surprised by what happened on the battlefield against the combat sages were these four members.
Unfortunately, there wasn’t much time left. There were about four months left. This was the amount of time left for these two to survive in this world.
Termination deadline clause. Death. And the evil Nectar. These were things that others couldn’t resolve for the two. Time had proven that humans could not escape from these natural principles and laws.
“This freaking world sure wants a lot. Everyone we meet wants something…” San murmured. It was the first thing out of his mouth after the members of the Outsiders finished their long list of requests.
“And they haven’t really done anything for us. They’re real misers. We’ve done so much but received so little in return,” Biyeon added on.
“What do you guys want? Aren’t you guys going to leave this world soon?” Namjoon complained. He was sweeping the sweat off his brow. He had never sweated so much in his five hundred years on this planet.
The other three also showed uncomfortable expressions. However, they couldn’t complain. It was because all four knew how much the two were doing and how much they were sacrificing.
In a garden within an area controlled by the Outsiders…
San and Biyeon had been showcasing their vast number of skills in the yard for the past three hours.
Periodically, someone would cough or clear their throat, but other than that, everyone observed what was going on with bated breath. Their bated breath and controlled breathing illustrated just how nervous and anxious they all were.
Though they were on the same stage of acceleration as many other accomplished warriors, San and Biyeon’s skills were on a completely different level. They had added different ideas and theories into their skills and evolved the skills to a completely different, transcendent level.
They also made a breakthrough in increasing one’s longevity and ability to survive on the battlefield once one obtained Awakening.
Many of their breakthroughs presented a double-edged sword scenario. This was what was mainly discussed during this time.
“I hope that these skills can be widely distributed and taught. I’m against the imperial family and their secret service detail monopolizing this knowledge. We need to allow the entire human race to upgrade and be prepared for what’s ahead,” San firmly stated.
“The most important and dangerous skills should be regulated. Do you know how much trouble we had to go through in the past 500 years to make sure humanity didn’t self-destruct?” Lee-Kang stated as he voiced his opposition.
“Think of why the Creator created such a difficult barrier for people to obtain Awakening. If these skills fall into the wrong people’s hands, they can’t be taken back. These skills are too important and too dangerous!” Namjoon added on. Miri seconded Namjoon’s concerns. On the other hand, Ogi stayed silent as he absorbed everyone’s opinion.
“Humanity is weak and on the brink of extinction, but all of you are still bickering about who should have control over an ever-shrinking pie that represents human society. You four have been atop the food chain for so long that I think you can only view the world through one perspective,” San growled.
“That’s not true, and you know it!” Lee-Kang shouted out. Lee-Kang then continued, “If we release these skills, then the martial arts clans will gain tremendous strength. Rather than cooperating, what if they all branch off and try to become independent nation-states? That would only hurt humanity’s preparation and go against what is needed. We’d fall into another era of dog-eat-dog! Also, do you think the Absolute Clans would just sit back as their competitors are gaining on them? Fat chance!”
“What’s the difference if all the power is centralized with the emperor and the Absolute Clans! Do you think this delicate balance and peacefulness has a chance to last? Even if it does, how long would that be? Ten years? Twenty years? Our opponent is constantly evolving and upgrading into monsters. Do you really think the nobles and Absolute Clan warriors will stand on the frontline and stick out their necks for the public? Do you really think that? We need to give each person the ability to fend for themselves,” San shouted out in frustration.
“You guys are under the impression that the imperial family and warriors are the only ones who can become the pillars of humanity. Since you all are so obtuse on that point, I won’t try and persuade you all from that premise, but understand, San and I do not have any interest in what happens to the imperial family or those in power. They do not represent humanity. I don’t believe that absolute authority and power to do whatever they want to commoners are representative of the higher aspirations of humanity,” Biyeon added.
“Watch your words!” Miri cried out. San and Biyeon turned to Miri. An anger-filled aura blanketed Miri. Miri’s focus seemed to be blurring as her eyes started losing focus. Tears started forming in her eyes as she emotionally cried out, “Don’t think that you two were the only ones who sacrificed something after coming to this world! You weren’t the only two to struggle on this god-forsaken planet. If you haven’t experienced what we have, if you haven’t seen what we’ve seen, and if you don’t understand what we’ve done until now, you can’t speak so condescendingly to us!”
“Yes, even if you’re just joking, it’s not acceptable!” Ogi added on.
Everyone started voicing their opinions as if the floodgates had opened.
“Do you know how dangerous and scary it is when violence isn’t regulated?”
“Knowledge without philosophical foundations isn’t enlightening but savage!”
“Rules without a basis are deplorable!”
“Lies spewed out without repercussions lead to greater struggle!”
“Did you live your first years of life in this world as a female laborer at the bottom rung of society?”
“Have you ever been thrown into war without a weapon? To be expected to pick up a weapon from a dead comrade during battle?”
“Have you ever seen your family ripped apart to shreds in front of your own eyes?”
“Have you spent 100 years in total isolation without any human contact?”
“If there’s no rule, that’s what the world becomes.”
“We’re pursuing a baseline of rule.”
“To make this principle a reality, we’ve sacrificed and killed over three million humans in this world.”
“Among those were commoners and even nobles that you despise so much of.”
“Don’t lecture us about what is unfair and not working in this world.”
“Are the things needed at night the same things that are needed during the day?”
“Are rules and laws established at night always correct when brought into the daylight?”
“Right now, it’s the early morning, it’s still dark and unclear…”
“We still need to get our bearings.”
San and Biyeon shut their mouths closed and glanced at each of the four speakers. Though they all spoke their minds individually, the overarching message was the same.
San raised both of his arms up into the air. His hands were spread open and clearly visible.
The four stopped speaking. San raised his shoulders into a shrug.
“Sorry.”Previous Chapter Next Chapter