Chapter 62 – The Battle of Good and Evil(正邪大戰) (1)
I’ve never read martial arts novel before.
Not only do I have no habit of reading books, but in our generation [Martial Arts] was already a declining genre. Sometimes old martial arts movies were posted on the Internet. However, the inferior CG technology would only cause it to be a laughing stock.
An era which has come to mock all seriousness.
There was no place to stand for Martial and Arts.
A declining genre.
A declining world.
It was snowing there.
We, the expedition with no dreams or hopes, safely entered the world of the Apocalypse. It was a vast snow field(雪原) that greeted our party. When our shoes stepped on the snow, it made a cute sound.
But the coldness that hit us was not cute in the slightest.
I shouted hastily.
“Release your Aura and protect your own body!”
The bitter cold of a snowstorm (嚴冬雪寒).
Even if we stayed still, our toes would freeze. As soon as he heard my cry, Venomous Snake immediately released his Aura. But the non-combatant, Alchemist and the Medicine King, failed to do so.
“I-, I-, I… I didn’t learn how to use Aura…”
“Achooo! Ahhhh, chooooo! Aigoooo, this old man is dying! I’m going to freeze to death!”
It had only been 20 seconds since we entered the world of the Apocalypse. Already, two person’s complexion turned as if they were going to die. But then again, I did all sorts of things in order to learn Aura. How would Support-based Hunters know how to use Aura?
I dealt with it quickly.
“Chen Mu-mun Master! Please take care of the Medicine King!”
The Venomous Snake carried the Medicine King on his back. Whether he was the Emperor of Light Novel or a man who lives and dies for his pride, the Venomous Snake was undoubtedly a top-ranked Martial Fighter-based Hunter.
His purple Aura immediately surrounded the Medicine King’s body.
“Aigooo. I’m finally able to breathe…”
The Medicine King sighed with relief. He has a relaxing face like an old man who had just entered an open-air hot spring. I nodded, and then took the Alchemist’s hand.
“You’ll follow me, Sajang-nim.”
“Give me your hand.”
My Aura flowed from my hand to the Alchemist’s hand. A red Aura. The Aura, which had yet to be identified as a symbol of fire or blood, surrounded the Alchemist’s body warmly.
The Alchemist bowed.
“Tha-, thank you. Death King-nim. But thi-, this tickles a little bit….”
“I know you’re shy. I’m shy, too. But this is no time to be shy.”
I looked around. A blizzard as thick as a mist. The problem of body temperature was solved urgently, but that was all. I was at a loss where this was and where we had to go.
“The librarian is a Constellation so he could easily use the word [Masterpiece] and [Serialization]. But this is definitely another world. It’s no ordinary book. We’re here to save this world. You know that, right?”
The Alchemist raised her eyes.
“…Yes. I do. I guess I thought of it too lightly. I, I’ll try my best.”
“All you have to do is focus on your role. I’m protecting you with Aura now, but when you need to cure the epidemic, Sajang-nim and Medicine King will have to step forward. I’ll leave it in your good hands.”
“Yes, Death King-nim.”
The blizzard brushed past our ears. We tried somehow to grasp the surrounding geography with our eyes wide open. I recalled of the last sentence of the Chronicles of Heavenly Demon.
「The Heavenly Demon suddenly died because of the unidentified epidemic. 」
「Soon, everyone else died, too. 」
A concise sentence.
The sentence, which was less than 50 characters long, did not state ‘skin-piercing cold’ nor did it feature ‘Snow that reached the calves and knees’. It only stated that the world had fallen.
We had to find out from now on.
What exactly happened that killed a character such as the ‘Heavenly Demon’.
What was the ‘unidentified epidemic’ that caused humanity of this world to go extinct.
The Alchemist held my right hand a little stronger. She pointed to the other side of the snowstorm.
“Look over there, Death King! I think I just saw people there!”
We all looked in the direction pointed by the Alchemist.
She was right. I couldn’t see well because of the heavy snow… But there was a shadow of a person beyond the wind. There were countless shadows. Dozens of people, not just one or two. Perhaps it was even more than a hundred people.
A forest of silhouettes (人影).
I took the lead and walked.
“Let’s go over there for now!”
Snow flew around. It wasn’t snow falling from the sky. The snow that had already fallen was swept away by the wind. When we were covered by the snowstorm only shadows could be seen, so we walked close together so that we would not part from each other.
Bae Hu-ryeong spoke. Bae Hu-ryeong was looking around the surrounding on behalf of my eyes.
-Something’s weird. I can’t hear anything from that direction.
Isn’t it because the snowstorm is so bad that their voices are covered up?’
-That may be the case.
Bae Hu-ryeong looked at the forest of silhouettes with thinly opened eyes.
-But it’s not just the voices that I can’t hear… Those things, they’re not moving at all. They’re not moving an inch. They’re more like statues, not humans though?
Fortunately, the snowstorm soon subsided. Our vision became clearer when the snow stopped. But that was the only fortunate thing.
We were speechless at the sight that unfolded before our eyes.
“…What. What are these?”
The Venomous Snake puffed white breaths.
“Why are all the humans frozen?”
In the midst of the snowy field.
Hundreds of humans were all frozen while standing.
“…They’re real humans.”
The Alchemist looked at the frozen human and said.
Wearing latex gloves, she ripped off the flesh of the corspe with tongs.
“According to my [Life Diagnosis] skill, it’s already been two years and three months since they died. The cause of death was contagion. After analysis by [Moving Hospital], it is still an unregistered disease.”
The Medicine King also took out his monocle and examined every corner of the frozen human corpse. Likea Martial Fighter-based Hunter who would use martial arts skills, they diagnosed the frozen humans with Support-based skills.
“The causes of death are all the same. It’s not death by hypothermia (冬死). He died from a disease, so they should have died lying on the ground… Aren’t they all standing up? Hmmm, really now. It’s spookily strange. When this kind of thing happened in Silicon Valley….”
“It’s highly likely someone moved them here on purpose.”
The Alchemist cut off the Medicine King’s words.
The Alchemist’s expression became serious after hearing my words earlier.
“Though the cause of death is the same, but the dates of death are all different. This guy was two years ago. That person died three years ago. I can only think that someone intentionally moved the body….”
“Is this some kind of grave?”
The Venomous Snake stroked his chin.
“A grave huh. It also looks like a Terracotta Army from far.”
The frozen humans all had a separate pose. Some looked up at the sky with open arms. And another had his mouth open like a beast.
I looked at a frozen human that was the closest and chanted it in my mind.
The letters popped up over the white snowfield.
Name: Jang Seong-pa (張成派)
Favorability: Favorite Genre: –
Unfavourable Genre: –
Favorite Characters: –
Unfavourable Characters: –
Preferred Plots: –
Undesired Plots: –
Psychological state: ‘Light.’
So this was how a dead person’s character window looked like.
Maybe the ‘light’ in his psychological state… was the last thought he had when he died. The corpse’s mind was fixed like a phrase inscribed on a tombstone.
The party chattered in the face of the mystery.
“Grave…. If this was a cemetery, why was it made this way?”
“Who knows. But they all have weapons hanging from their waist.”
“Is there no good place to stay? It’s a little warm thanks to the Aura, but….”
It was at that moment.
Laughter came from afar. Our party lowered our body reflexively. Perhaps the owner of the laugh may not have noticed us, and shouted towards someone.
“The Heavenly Demon Sect(魔道天下) ends today!”
“Ha. Even a passing dog will turn over and laugh.”
It wasn’t just one voice. There were two.
“As long as I am alive and well, the Heavenly Demon Sect would remain alive and well. Bu Wol-sun (洋銳仙) You’re the one that should say your last goodbyes to the Murim factions.”
One was the voice of an old man, and the other was the voice of a young woman.
The old man shouted.
“Bullshit! The Bloody Ghost Squad (血鬼隊) that your Demon Cult boasted has their heads blown off by the blades of my axes. The rotten Demon (魔頭)Elders also had their heads cut off and sent to the Yellow River! There’s 500 Martial Masters of Murim that follow me, what sorcery will you use to stop this body!”
The woman laughly softly.
“What a long tongue this old man has. The Bloody Ghosts is just staying out of radar for a while after receiving my secret order. They’re not weak enough to be killed by someone like you.”
I raised my finger and signalled it to the party.
The party batted their eyes.
‘Let’s get closer quietly. Okay?’
The party nodded silently.
We crept through the frozen human’s cemetery, and the forest of corpses. The voices of the two unknown individual gradually grew closer. Soon after, the two people could be seen.
“Before you worry about my subordinates, how about worrying about your own underling, Wol-sun.”
The woman was wearing a black uniform.
“Where did all the pillars of the state that you were so proud of fuck off to? The old monster, once revered as the Faction Leader of the Murim, has become ugly.”
The old man was wearing a white robe.
“It’s none of your business. They quickly spread to the whole world on my secret orders!”
“I see that you all have quite a lot of secret orders too.”
“Isn’t this it all because you screwed up the whole world, you bitch. Ugh. If it weren’t for the retarded Heavenly Demon Cult, the world wouldn’t be this abnormal!”
“If we’re idiots, what would that make you Murim people who got your asses handed to you by such idiots? It’d be correct to call you idiots of all idiots.”
“Huh, you bitch dare to!?”
“If you’re tilted, come at me. Old man.”
A very low level fight was taking place.
According to what they said, the elderly man dressed in a robe was a figure on the Murim Sect(正派). And the woman in the black uniform seemed to be on the Demon Sect(邪派) side. The old man of the Murim Sect and the woman of the Demon Cult pointed their weapons at each other.
[T/N: I decided to call it the Murim Sect and Demon Sect as I felt that it fit the context so much better than Righteous Sect/Evil Sect.]
“I’m done with this shit. I can’t stand fucking Demon Heads like you anymore, bitch! I’ll split your head into two, and offer one to the Jade Emperor and the other to Yeomra!”
[T/N: Yeomra is the King of the Underworld/Hell.]
“Hu. I was hoping for a life-or-death situation. I’ll finally cut off the last flesh and blood of the Murim Sect today, and show that the Heavenly Demon Sect is alive and well.”
Though they spoke frivolously, it was a typical duel of the Murim people.
Now if the two people exert their force and start sword fighting, everything would have been perfect.
But a serious problem was found.
Bae Hu-ryeong muttered dejectedly.
-What are they doing holding a branch…?
The old man and the woman, the two powerful people, held a wooden stick as thin as a cane. That was the ’weapon’ that the two brought out. There were no brilliant weapons that could be seen that usually appeared in martial arts movies.
The two seemed to be embarrassed when they aimed at each other with wooden sticks. They exchanged awkward glances. The woman in black robes slowly opened her mouth.
“… …Hey Bu Wol-sun. Where did you put the jade axe you bragged about that you are carrying a piece of wood? For being a trash of the Nangong Family, your only merit was that you wielded your axe valiantly…”
“Sh-, shut up!”
The old man’s face became flushed.
“Right back at you, bitch! Where did you throw your Blood Weaving Demonic Sword(織血魔劍) that you treasured like a daughter, that you are holding such a cane!”
“Ehem, what do you mean a cane.”
The woman averted her gaze.
“That’s too much. Even if it looks like this, this is a wooden sword that I personally carved and made. This sword contained the essence of the thousand-years-old Demon Sect, and personally gave the name of Hundred Sky Splitting Sword for this weapon.”
“Did you just stick the name Sky Splitting to a cane right now?”
“Hmmm, can’t I do that…?”
The old man said in a calm manner.
“Ehem. Even so, Hundred Sky Splitting Sword is just over the top. Why don’t you use a trivial name such as Pyeontae(輸答)?”
[T/N: Pyeontae is Hanja for Cane/Whip/Flog/Lash, and it’s written as鞭笞and read in Hanja as biānchī.]
“The word Pyeontae is not supposed to literally mean a cane…”
“The word basically means cane, and it literally looks like a cane! You stupid!”
The woman nodded sullenly.
“Alright then. If that’s what you say, the name Demonic Pyeontae is good enough.”
“You and your Demon(魔)! Demon!”
The old man’s white beard trembled.
“Why are all the Demon Cult’s people making a fuss with putting ‘Demon’ on their names? You’re your subordinates and there’s already there are four Demons: Bloody Demon(血魔), Sword Demon(劍魔), Flame Ghost Demon (鬼魂炎魔), Moon Shadow Demon Lord(月影魔君)! Even their moniker are called The Four Demon Lord(四魔君)! You bastards, even before you learn the Thousand-Character Classic, do you all first memorize the word ‘Demon’?!”
“Hmm. Isn’t there a refined feel to it…?”
“Aghhh! I can’t believe that you bitches were considered the strongest at one time!”
Dark clouds covered the sun. The snowy clouds were so thick that they sank thickly into the snowfield. In an instant the world darkened like it was dusk.
The old man flinched.
“Dem-, Demon Head. This is no time for us to fight amongst ourselves!”
The two Murim people leaned against each other as if they never had an argument. A cold sweat broke out from the woman’s forehead.
“Damn it. The Law of Heaven (天理)has been acting as it pleases nowadays…”
“You bitch! Weren’t you confident that the weather would be clear today?!”
“There are times when the divination is right and wrong. I had just sloppily learned the art of prediction of the Flame Ghost Demon. How can I see through heaven and earth?”
“Aigooo! Why don’t you just get a Fortune-Teller from the street and make him the Religious Sect Leader, I was deceived by this bitch’s words!”
“Shut up and get ready to fight, old man. I’m losing all my energy that I don’t even have anymore.”
Our party was puzzled.
The Alchemist, who was close to me, whispered.
“Wha-, what’s happening all of a sudden…?”
“I’m not sure. I don’t really….”
It was at the moment when I was about to say that I didn’t know too.
At first I thought that someone in our party made a sound. But as growling sounds began to come from the left, right, front, back, I realized that my thoughts were firmly wrong.
The Alchemist was startled and clung to my arm. Beyond her glasses, I could see that her complexion was blue as a beetle.
The faces of the Venomous Snake and Medicine King were not much different. Perhaps my face was now blue too.
The frozen humans that numbered thousands at a glance.
The ones we considered to be just corpses… Moved their arms and legs slowly.
The dead body’s eyes, which stood still, turned. The pupils were open, and the eyebrows were almost missing. Most of all, some of them had their eyes dug in as if worms ate it. Nevertheless, the body stared at us precisely.
I made eye contact with one of them. As soon as I saw the dead body’s eyes, I realized.
An Apocalypse going by the name of Chronicles of Heavenly Demon.
The book clearly said this.
[The Chronicles of Heavenly Demon(天魔)]
Genre: Martial Arts, Fusion
Difficulty Level: B Class
Player Limit: 2 to 4 people
※The Serialization is currently suspended.
Introduction: Murim. A world of those who revere Mu, those who use Mu, those who strive to attain Mu! A Heavenly Demon descended here and tried to unify Murim. A Demonic Cult(魔敎) brought together centering on the Heavenly Demon. The opposing forces who go against this Demonic Cult. Fighting over the control of the world…would be what they would’ve done.
If it wasn’t for the sudden super epidemic.
Reason for Discontinuation: An unidentified epidemic went rampant in the world, causing the Heavenly Demon to die. The Demonic Cult was annihilated. The other forces were also destroyed. End.
The bodies, which were thought to be frozen humans, moved slowly.
Their movement was slow and sluggish, but the sight of the body moving was a horror in itself.
I belatedly realized what the ‘unidentified epidemic’ was that brought this world to an end.
“Was the super epidemic [Zombie Virus]?!”
The dead body’s mouth opened at the same time I shouted.
The sun was covered by dark clouds.
A thousand zombies swooped upon us.
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