Chapter 57 - Part 1: Vice Captain of the Corps (2)

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“Did you all hear that a new vice-captain is coming?” The man was sprawled out on a chair. His sword was in his hand instead of on his waist and he caressed it with a smile.

[Status Summary]

Yorim [1st Member]

Body: Normal

Master level

Health: 1.34 million

Internal Energy: 1.27 million

Combat Power: 2.85 million (+Speculation)

<Notes>

Description: Oldest member of the command unit.

[Tall and slightly skinny. Has an eye-catching fighting style.]

2.85 million… He was as amazingly strong as Seol-Hwi would expect of a unit leader. Seol-Hwi had no idea what “+Speculation” meant, though.

[Continuing conversation]

“It seems like they found someone quickly this time,” the man leaning against the wall with his arms crossed said. He had small eyes and an angular face with a firm, strong lower jaw.

[Status Summary]

Jeok Seong [2nd Member]

Body: Normal

Master level

Health: 2.33 million

Internal Energy: 1.27 million

Combat Power: 3.1 million (+Speculation)

<Notes>

Description: 6th year in the Hidden Truth Corps. The oldest of those with the chance to become leaders.

He has “speculation”, too? Heok Gwak, leader of the White Blood troops, had the same note as this man. Seol-Hwi couldn’t help but wonder what it was.

“I think this person might’ve been appointed, since the vice-captain position was sitting open,” the woman sitting on the window sill said. “There were rumors that he and the Earth Demon are quite close.”

“How do you know that?” Yorim asked.

“It takes one to know one,” she quietly replied.

The light from the window shifted, and her face seemed to glow in the new light.

It was her. She was here, and she took Seol-Hwi’s breath away just like she did the first time.

[Status Summary]

Seo Ryeong [4th Member]

Body: Normal Master level

Coin Love+3

Health: 360k

Internal Energy: 1.22 million

Combat Power: 1.12 million (+Speculation)

<Notes>

Description: Core member, a person specially selected by the Earth Demon. Seol-Hwi will gain 3 lives if he manages to make her fall in love with him.

L-Love? Seol-Hwi’s heart stopped again. Love meant gaining lives? So… What do I do? No, is this even possible?

“I don’t need guidance or anything. If he’s useful, I’ll follow him; if not, I’ll kill him.” A man walked through the door, ferocious eyes peering through his long hair.

[Status Summary]

Yong Jin [3rd Member]

Body: Normal

Health: 1.34 million

Internal Energy: 1.27 million

Combat Power: 2.77 million (+Speculation)

<Notes>

Description: The most hasty, hot-headed of the potential leaders. Despite his fiery personality, he possesses an inspiring honesty. He can only be brought down by force.

I can feel it—If I want to control these people, I need to handle that one.

<Prologue over>

- Starting

Time began to tick once more.


Seol-Hwi stood in front of the door where the group was gathered. He could roughly guess why he was here: the four leaders seemed hostile to the vice-captain; this was a test on how he would lead them.

<Would you like to wear a mask?>

Cover his face? Why? It seemed like a pivotal decision.

Because of Seo Ryeong, maybe? Seol-Hwi had a feeling that was it. He met her first on the test island, but then he died and met her in the library—and at that time, he was a janitor.

<You agreed to wear a mask.>

If he revealed his face now, she would certainly question what Seol-Hwi was doing in the library. That would mean losing all the goodwill she had for him.

Seol-Hwi put the mask on and pushed open the door.

What is going on? Seol-Hwi only made it a few steps in before the strange atmosphere halted him.

It was quiet. No… they weren’t moving at all. He’d never experienced time stopping for everyone except himself.

What does this mean?

Seol-Hwi took a moment to carefully observe all the frozen people.

Yorim had his legs crossed. Seo Ryeong was still sitting by the window, and Yong Jin stood a few steps away from the open door.

<Please try to talk to each of them.>

Uh, what? Everything was frozen, so how?

Seol-Hwi tried approaching Yorim.

<Would you like to hear the true thoughts of Yorim?>

I see. Seol-Hwi immediately agreed. He had to anyway, if he wanted time to flow again.

I didn’t get a chance to properly learn martial arts after I joined the command unit. All I did was scout the outside territory. Doing chores like that makes the rest of the unit look down on me! I want to learn things like Night Vision and Mountain Scout! The commander is supposed to be teaching us martial arts—he’s not doing anything right!

“Night Vision” made Seol-Hwi blink in surprise. Conveniently, it was a technique he knew.

So they taught me it to help me build trust with these people… What about the others?

He didn’t hear anything else from Yorim, so he went to the next person: Jeok Seong, who leaned against the wall. Seol-Hwi touched him and heard his inner feelings.

I’m tired of these kinds of missions. I need something more exciting—anything is fine, but I hope I get the chance to fight outsiders or go on a special mission. If I can, then my life…

Jeok Seong’s desires felt quite strong. He didn’t want to kill, but he wanted a mission where his life was on the line. It matched quite well with his appearance, in Seol-Hwi’s opinion.

Next, he went to the one with a dissatisfied expression, the one who spoke the most negatively before Seol-Hwi got here: Yong Jin.

Dogshit! We always have to take charge of our olds units. The new captain better have some guts. If he’s another asshole, I’ll kill him. Shit. If I’d gone to a different disciple, would I have to deal with this shit?

Yong Jin’s anger was palpable, although the others weren’t exactly cheerful either.

Now for the last one—the woman who took his breath away. She really was beautiful. It was hard to believe that such a woman existed in the sect.

Seol-Hwi’s heart pounded with each step he took. What could she be thinking? Did she distrust him like the rest of them?

<Would you like to hear the true thoughts of Seo Ryeong?>

[What do I gain from being in the command unit? It doesn’t change anything.]

It was puzzling and unfamiliar, but that wasn’t all of her thoughts.

[I need to find a way, or else the Supreme Pavilion Lord is going to kill us all within the year.]

The Supreme Pavilion Lord? Why was she worried about him? Did she do something bad?

His doubts only grew.

[Does that one want to get out of this hell like I do?]

Who is she talking about? Seol-Hwi leaned closer, searching for the slightest clue.

He wanted to know for whom her heart quivered, but the system had other ideas.

<Done! You have listened to everyone!>

- Please return to your place.

Seol-Hwi looked around and saw a table with a bright light on the ground next to it. He immediately realized that it would resume time.

- Continuing


Time flowed again. All the people turned to look at him, shooting uncomfortable and unpleasant gazes at him. No one spoke, weighing down the air with a heavy silence.

Seol-Hwi decided to take the lead.

“You must know who I am.”

He had no intention of sympathizing with their feelings.

Looking good? Didn’t matter, they were stuck with each other for the time being. These people had been rejected before and had no other affiliation. Seol-Hwi had become familiar with such people in his last ten years in the sect.

“I don’t know who you are, however. And, to be honest, I don’t give a shit.”

Rude conduct, poor treatment; injustice and inequality. They had seen this all too many times.

“No matter what you say, I don’t plan on changing.”

He knew better than anyone how to educate them—or rather, he knew how to make them follow him.

“Those who want to follow can follow. Those who don’t, stop here.”

Yong Jin cut him off. “Who are you to sa—”

“I am not done speaking,” Seol-Hwi said, cutting off Yong Jin in turn. “Those who are not happy with my words…” He scanned the room until his gaze landed on Yong Jin.

“Come at me…”

Cheeky bastards had to be crushed. That was the best way to make them obedient.

“...If you can.”

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