Chapter 22. The Weight of War, the Weight of Order

Kang Chul-In silently swung the metal bat.

He did not swing it with everything he had. If he did, Kimura’s hipbones would break after two or three hits, and he would die after ten blows. He controlled his strength as well as he could and hit as much as Kimura would be able to endure. However, even that was too much for Kimura.

“Ugh, Mmmm!”

Every time the metal club swung, Kimura screamed, but the gag in his mouth muffled the sound.

Crack, crack!

Kang Chul-In hit like a machine. He looked so emotionless that, for those who were watching, the hairs on their backs rose.

And this lasted for about 30 minutes.

When Kimura had received about 50 blows, Kang Chul-In spoke.

“Untie him.”

“Yes, Lord.”

One of the soldiers quickly did as he ordered.

“Please spare, spare me!!”

Kimura, who had been untied from Podolski’s rope-tie and gag, begged and pleaded until his hands became his feet. He was crying and making a big commotion. Kimura looked like a young boy who just had gotten in serious trouble with his father.

“I-I will never do that again!! Please, please spare me my life! Don’t kill me!”

Kimura, who was begging on his knees, had lost any last sense of dignity he had as a Lord. He was so servile and desolate that even those looking clicked their tongues.

“What have you done wrong?” Kang Chul-In asked.

“I am sorry for causing the war. I am sorry. I’m sorry for cursing.”

“Wrong.”

Kang Chul-In shook his head.

“Put the gag back on him.”

The gag went back on Kimura’s mouth.

“Mmmm…Mmmm!!!”

The metal club swung again.

“Speak. What did you do wrong?”

Kang Chul-In, who had delivered the second blow, asked Kimura again.

“I-I’m sorry… I was in the wrong.”

“So, what did you do wrong?”

“I don’t know, but I’m sorry for everything! Please just spare my life…”

“Put it back on.”

Kang Chul-In seemed dissatisfied, as if the answer was again not what he was looking for.

Crack!

After the blows landed again for the third time and Kimura was almost unconscious, the iron club finally stopped.

“Urgh.”

“Do you still not know what you did wrong?”

“Please, if you could tell… if you tell me.”

Kimura seemed like he did not even have the strength to beg anymore. Indeed, although Kang Chul-In controlled his strength, he had been hit almost a hundred times.

“Lord, why don’t you just take his head instead?”

James came forward, unable to watch further. Kimura was in so much pain that James asked for a clean death.

“No, I am not going to kill him.”

Kang Chul-In shook his head.

“Feed him the potion.”

When the order was given, Kang Chul-In’s subordinates shook in terror. It sounded like he was going to heal Kimura, then hit him some more.

“The person who you should be begging is not me but over there.”

Kang Chul-In went against everyone’s predictions and put down his iron club.

“Since you ask to be taught, I will teach you.”

Kang Chul-In’s finger pointed outside.

“The one you should apologize to is not me but your soldiers. Those who died for nothing because of the orders you gave with your incompetence.”

“You have the authority to give orders, no matter how incompetent of a Lord you are, but have you ever thought of the weight of those orders? Have you ever thought of the things that were going to happen because of your orders?”

At Kang Chul-In’s criticism, Kimura could not say anything. It was even more so because they were all true.

“Of course, you are extremely young and probably were not able to completely figure out the Grand Summoning that suddenly happened. This situation may have felt like it was a dream or a game. It’s not that I cannot understand. But.”

Kimura flinched at his loud voice.

“No matter how ignorant and incompetent you were, what you did is not easily forgivable. Giant centipedes, sure, but ants are a kind that has emotion and intelligence. And over two hundred of those ants are dead. Because of your orders.”

The Lord’s Hall fell silent at Kang Chul-In’s words.

“If you are in a high position, you need to be able to carry responsibility. How could you not, for the lives of your soldiers depend on your decisions?”

It was not for Kang Chul-In to say since he was the prime example of a conquest Lord, but it was also something that only Kang Chul-In could say. How many had their lives or deaths depend on his orders? Kang Chul-In was once a man who controlled thousands of lives. There were probably few who knew better than himself, knew the weight of a Lord and the weight of war.

“If even one of my soldiers died, I would have killed you without hesitation. But I guess you are quite lucky, seeing that not one of my soldiers died in this battle. But even if I forgive you, who will listen to the cries of your soldiers who died today? How about the emotional state of your loyal Timothy who you abandoned?”

“Ah, ah!”

It seemed like Kimura finally understood Kang Chul-In.

“Beg for forgiveness, to those who died because of your foolishness.”

“I am sorry! I’m so sorry!”

Kimura kneeled towards the front and bowed his head.

“I am sorry… I’m so sorry…”

The apology lasted for a long while.

I changed a lot too.

Kang Chul-In silently looked at Kimura and realized that he too, had changed. If it was him before, he would have cut the throats of every man and woman among the enemy Lord’s populace. Although it was not often, there were a couple of times when he had.

However, after his return, he himself could feel that he was different from before. Maybe it was because of that day’s defeat that he had changed.

Well, let’s just call it circumstance.

Underage, foolishness, lack of realization that it is reality, etc. It was okay to show mercy once considering it was shortly after the Grand Summoning.

Of course, as previously mentioned, it was also because there were no casualties on his side. As time passed and Kimura apologized again and again to the point where he almost lost consciousness, Kang Chul-In spoke.

“That is enough apologizing in front of me. I don’t know if the apology that you showed right now is sincere or a sly trick to save yourself from this situation. I don’t have a way of knowing nor do I care. But if you truly feel sorry, then you must never forget what you did today. That is dependent on your humanistic qualities, and I will not intervene.”

Kang Chul-In paused briefly and then continued.

“My lecturing stops here. Like I said, I will spare you, so return home as soon as your throat gets better. Ah, before that, we must finish what we were doing. Lucia!”

Lucia had come into the Lord Hall earlier and was watching the event unfold. She answered when she heard her name called.

“Yes, Lord. What do you need?”

“Bring the Soul Core.”

“Yes, my Lord!”

Lucia disappeared somewhere and then reappeared with a fancy sword that she held with two hands.

The “Soul Core”.

It was a sword that had no use as an actual weapon and was purely for ceremonial purposes, but it was a key item that symbolized the Lord and controlled the territory. Therefore, the Soul Core was something that only the Lord and his Secretary could touch. Kang Chul-In was able to control Laputa’s facilities and the magic engineered satellite in space only with the Soul Core. The Soul Core for a Lord was like a royal decree: a God-Given gift.

“You do not have the right to be a Lord. Also, the responsibility of defeat falls solely on the Lord. Therefore, I will take away your position here as Lord.”

“How…?”

Kimura answered with a quivering voice.

“The thing you are wearing on your waist… That is the Soul Core. You need to make a vow to me holding it.”

Kimura took out the Burrows’ Soul Core at Kang Chul-In’s orders.

“Get on your knees and touch your sword to mine. Repeat after me. I…”

“I…”

“Pledge my troops and my territory-“

“Pledge my troops and my territory-“

“To the one who was victorious over me,”

“To the one who was victorious over me,”

“Laputa’s Lord, Kang Chul-In.”

“Laputa’s Lord, Kang Chul-In.”

“Leaving nothing,”

“Leaving nothing,”

As the vow continued, the Soul Cores of Laputa and the Burrows began to radiate energy.

“And give up my status as Lord.”

“And give up my status as Lord.”

As soon as Kimura finished reciting the vow, the Burrow land’s Soul Core burned bright red and…

Crack!

Broke into a million pieces.

In the remains of the broken Soul Core of the Burrow lands, magic energy flowed into Kang Chul-In’s Soul Core.

Messages then popped up in front of Kang Chul-In.

[You have gained control of the Burrows territory.] [You have gained 5 levels with the conquest of an enemy Lord.] [You have gained 50 Lord Points with the conquest of an enemy Lord.] [Level 14 Reached!] [Tutorial 1 Quest Complete!] [Reward in Quest Completion: Experience +500/ 20 Gold/ Warp Gate unlocked (unlimited)]

 

Because it was summary information, it wasn’t too detailed. However, it was definite that the ownership of the Burrows fell to Kang Chul-In. The ants that survived, as well as the gold that Kimura had, had also transferred to Kang Chul-In. Aside from the Secretary Timothy, of course.

Also, because he cleared the Tutorial 1 Quest, the reward that followed was also given. Even if it was a boring win, the reward was clear.

“Is, is it over now?”

Kimura spoke weakly.

“Yes, it is over.”

“I-I am sorry… I am sorry to everyone. I apologize…”

Kimura fainted, falling to the ground. He could not finish.

“Take him and tend to him.”

As soon as Kang Chul-In ordered, two soldiers took Kimura and took him away.

‘Now, will I have some time to return to Earth?’

Compared to the three or four days he had predicted in the beginning, he had instead spent two weeks in Pangaea, an extremely long postponement.

However, he could not go right away.

He needed to take care of the ants that survived, the fire toad that he took from Kimura, rewards for his troops, as well as deciding what to do with the Burrow lands. In order for him to return to Earth, he needed at least two or three more days.

Also, is it time for me to pay the interest?

Kang Chul-In remembered the borrowed money and showed a bitter smile. He probably had to tell Lucia to draw from the privy purse. However, there probably would be quite a bit of gold won from Kimura, so there would be plenty left after the debt was paid. If there was any left, he might be able to give his mother some funds and find her a good apartment to rent.

It was true.

The Lord Kang Chul-In could also not escape worrying about debt and apartment rent. Of course, if more time passed, he could claw in heaps of money ranging in the millions instead of the thousands, but that would take at least a year.

 

 

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