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Volume 8 / Chapter 228
Editor: Hungry Panda
An unmeasurable giant creature cuts through the ocean.
It moves like a threaded needle going back and forth, sewing cloth.
It is foolish to even compare because of the size of the ocean, but just that area looked like it was being threaded.
The body movement itself is slow.
It looks very slow. But each movement brings it forward hundreds of meters in distance.
It was going back because of a sweet smell. It is curious because it's something it's smelling for the first time, but it doesn't get seduced.
It is a ruler.
Nothing can distract its composure.
The creature stopped moving. The sweet smell is slowly fading.
Instead, the smell of those guys it ran into not long ago becomes stronger.
A fairly strong male and female pair.
It has been wandering the sea for a long time, but they are some of the strongest they have seen until now.
It's sure that nothing in this ocean can take them on.
What is going on over there?
It isn't sure, but it is sure of one thing. Something exciting is waiting.
Nuclear's energy ball gets embedded in the male's pupil.
He used most of the energy left in his battlesuit. An increase in destructive power is inevitable, and the flesh scatters.
Boom boom boom!
It is out of energy.
The male is unable to regenerate the area where its eye has exploded, and flips with its stomach turned up. It floats on the water and breathes heavily.
It's body is covered in wounds from cuts and bombs.
The male looked from one place to another. It has seen the dead female and baby. It was about to follow them.
Hades cuts the male's neck with wind pressure.
They couldn't dissect it due to its size, but the trajectory of the vacuum wave gave the final blow.
[You have killed the Deep-Sea Teeth. You have earned 2.5 billion points and 5 billion achievement points. You have completed the level A advancement mission, Deep-Sea Teeth. You have earned 8 billion reward points. Cha Jun Sung is subject to upgrade - level S missions and store have been opened.]
As everyone had expected, Cha Jun Sung was the only one to advance.
If it hadn't been for Cha Jun Sung, it could have been someone else.
The battle would have been more fierce with the absence of a strong power. There would have been more sacrifices made, and someone would have stepped up.
"I - I can't fight anymore."
"Phew! It's done anyway."
The ice island that Ice Queen created near the male is visible.
It is about 1/10 of the size it normally is because she lacked the energy.
Park Jin Hyuk's group and the Rankers are spread out on that small island. It is a terrible sight. A majority of the battlesuits are severely damaged.
The aftermath of battle.
It is a big show.
Cha Jun Sung, 11 Lifers and two level 8s had incredible pressure in frontal confrontation regardless of winners and losers.
They wanted to fight by hitting and retreating even if this takes some time, but it isn't a situation where they can do that. The Albatrus is getting pushed.
They need to finish up the battle here somehow and then help out on that side.
But once the battle with the Deep-Sea Teeth was over, only one person was able to move and he was already on his way to help.
"His stamina is one thing, but we can't ignore his battlesuit's performance either."
The Lifers resting on the ice island all look at one place.
As soon as Cha Jun Sung killed the male and arrived at the Albatrus, he swept the battlefield.
The sharks are scattering everywhere following the Deep-Sea Teeth's loss, but it's slow because there are so many of them.
Park Jin Hyuk's group and the Rankers took out their general charging devices and recovered their battlesuits' energy. They already used all of the rapid charging devices.
While Cha Jun Sung attacked near the Albatrus, the 7 Rankers who had gone to take on the level 7s began to resume their positions one by one.
They aren't in good shape either, but they are more at ease.
As soon as they joined in battle, they chased the sharks away with Cha Jun Sung as the princ.i.p.al axis.
"Is it… complete."
Strategist got an idea of the battle's atmosphere and gave a hollow smile.
He doesn't remember when it started, but now there are more times when he feels empty due to the death of his colleagues rather than a feeling of achievement that the mission is complete.
Survivors are flowers that bloom from the sacrifices of others. They used those opportunities created through their deaths as footholds to go up.
Those with more, gain more. Those who lose, lose more.
They hadn't been able to advance, but Strategist's group completed the mission and survived while earning a vast amount of points. It is sad, but he thinks of it as one step forward while establishing a friendly relationship with Cha Jun Sung who has opened up level S.
If he supports them with level S items, they will be able to develop even more. Completion without victims might even be possible.
"It's time to go back. Uranos, do your best and wrap up the battlefield."
The cyborgs remaining on board go out, leaving the mutants alone, and collect and take care of everything related to Lifers.
The victims don't return and just watch this. They need to get a count of the damage, but at a glance, it looks like half have died.
Cha Jun Sung recovers Hades, goes up in the air, and goes past the ice island.
He looks at the Deep-Sea Teeth that are dead in different places.
"Parents who think of their children. I guess all living creatures are the same."
He doesn't feel sorry or pity or anything. As long as he has entered with the intention to kill, those kinds of feelings are a luxury.
He is just understanding that those guys are struggling to live just like they are.
"Are we the same?"
Lifers don't know that they're specimens for experiment either. Cha Jun Sung is the only one who is close to the hidden truth.
[Sincere congratulations. Lifer Cha Jun Sung, I'm proud of you. The only level S Lifer. I knew you could do it.]
It finally became reality for Cha Jun Sung that he had become level S once he heard Odin speak.
He had been busy with battle before, and had ignored the notice even after hearing it. He hadn't had the chance to check how many points he got and that he had advanced.
How many level S missions are there?
Are there 5 since Cruel King is dead?
Or is it 6 including that coc.o.o.n?
He'll be able to find out more in detail once he returns. His total points are about 20 billion. He bought a battlesuit, so he can pay attention to other areas. He'll need to take care of the specifications he is lacking in.
[First, let us go back to the Albatrus.]
"Jun Sung! Let's go back!"
Park Jin Hyuk was sitting on the ice island as he called to Cha Jun Sung who is floating in the air. Lifers are returning one by one.
Cha Jun Sung turned around to go back. Their work is done here.
At that moment, Cha Jun Sung froze as though he had been hit by lightning.
'What is this? This energy?'
Something he can't identify is binding him. He wants to turn around and look, but he can't. His body won't listen to him.
[Activate the reverse tracking camera!]
Odin realized something strange was going on, and turns on the camera built into the battlesuit.
The cameras change direction and film the rear. Though they only maintained basic functions, to think that they didn't know until it had approached!
The rear view comes up on his battlesuit's hologram.
It is the open sea, but below sea level, a long and giant shadow shows under the sunlight.
[Infrared ray, thermal detection impossible! It is a mutant that can control its body temperature and a.s.similate to the environment! Estimated length 1255m. At this kind of size, could it be?]
From the way it hides, it is like Basil's 9 combination stealth.
He is level S, but it hadn't been detected by the battlesuit's basic probe.
His body trembles.
Cold sweat forms on Cha Jun Sung's entire body.
His mouth dries up. He doesn't sweat much because he is a mutant and the temperature inside the battlesuit is always controlled, but he can't help it now.
"Tell Strategist to run away or return to reality immediately."
[Transferring information… Transmission complete! Lifer Cha Jun Sung, you also need to hurry up and evacuate!]
Cha Jun Sung shakes his head.
He needs to buy time for them to get away. They'll all get swept away if he boards the Albatrus.
Cha Jun Sung dives into the ocean with the reverse booster.
He doesn't know how this happened. What he is sure of is that it has already happened.
He is submerged in the sea in a tense state.
Cha Jun Sung saw it.
It is atrocious, but it has arrogant eyes.
Sea G.o.d Levadan.
Volume 8 / Chapter 229
Editor: Hungry Panda
"Good - goodness!"
"It's - it's a monster."
Levadan shows up in the mirror image.
The Lifers on board and Strategist who got information from Cha Jun Sung were able to see Levadan better than Cha Jun Sung could.
1255m in length and 100m in diameter. It looks like a dragon from some comic book or cla.s.sic novel. That's Sea G.o.d Levadan.
It is a legendary monster.
It has six pairs of horns on its head and looks like a reptile. But the moment they look at it, its eyes make them lose the will to battle.
The blue scales all over its entire body made the Lifers feel sick.
[Levadan! We finally found its location!]
All of the helpers including Uranos said similar words, in a similar tone at the same time as though it had been planned.
The Lifers are taken aback. They found the location?
Levadan wanders around thousands of meters deep into the sea.
Due to this, not even artificial intelligence can find it. It showed itself occasionally, but that was really rare.
It isn't on land like other level 9s, so it is hard to find. But for whatever reason, it has appeared in front of the Lifers.
[We need to put a location tracking device on it.]
Uranos shows consciousness.
It falls out of Strategist's will. But that doesn't mean he acts however he wants to. One wrong move could mean annihilation.
[Uranos. Lifer Cha Jun Sung says that he will buy time for us to get away.]
[Odin. You must know as well, but this is the perfect opportunity to keep an eye on Levadan, who has been out of our reach. Do you understand what I'm saying?]
Odin agrees with this as well.
Levadan is elusive, popping up in the east and the west. That's why they hadn't been able to create missions related to it.
[Wait. It's something that you all can't do, so I'll ask him what he thinks.]
Odin tries Cha Jun Sung.
He knows the secrets of Life Mission to an extent. Therefore, it is easy to explain when relaying sensitive issues.
Cha Jun Sung is half and half on installing a location tracking device. He'll fight Levadan if he needs to, but he won't provoke it first if he doesn't have to.
[The authority is applying a special mission.]
[Level A advancement mission: Installation of a location tracking device]
- Goal: Attainment
- Description: Install a location tracking device on ruler of the broad sea, Sea G.o.d Levadan, and get out of the mission area!
- Reward: 10,000,000,000 points. Lucky box.
It isn't a level S mission because he isn't meant to fight.
But the reward for a level A advancement is 10 billion points. It is of an entirely different cla.s.s. How many points would it have been if he were to kill it? It would be tens of billions of points.
"It's dangerous to run away in the ocean. Uranos, operate floating mode."
Floating mode. Albatrus is a submarine.
That means it is inefficient to put all the energy into the booster, but it can fly in the air for even a moment.
No matter how big and strong Levadan is, it cannot fly in the air without wings. He will soar into the air and return to Mechanic City.
"Let's kill it with spiral swills. There's no reason to keep saving it."
"The opponent isn't good."
If they fire the spiral swills, it will use all of the ship's energy. It takes time to fill it up as well. There's no guarantee that they will hit and kill it. They can't take the gamble.
Albatrus' booster tilts vertically and takes the ship 950m into the air.
Levadan isn't showing any strange movements.
It isn't here to fight. It has come out of pure curiosity.
The Lifers think differently.
They have a similar mindset as Cha Jun Sung. They won't hit first if they aren't provoked. This new phenomenon is interesting as well.
The Albatrus flies.
It goes up hundreds of meters, but they cannot be at ease even if they have gone several kilometers because of Levadan's length and the breadth of its attack.
Levadan glares and looks over the b.l.o.o.d.y battlefield. Sharks are either floating or in pieces all over the place. Their king and queen and their baby are dead, too.
Levadan is talking to itself, but Cha Jun Sung responds.
Odin raised the volume on the voice amplifier. Cha Jun Sung's sound becomes amplified by several times.
It is a conversation between mutants.
It is the principle of telepathy. The high and low tones of their growling with emotions mixed in, relay their messages.
[Are you the same race?]
[I'm a human… the same race.]
He isn't talking about sea mutants. He's talking about his nature.
Cha Jun Sung was going to say that he is human, but he just admitted it himself.
[This is the first time I'm seeing something like you. What is that? Is that a sh.e.l.l?]
[I guess you could say that.]
[Show your real self. Are you showing yourself to me with a sh.e.l.l?]
[I can't live in the ocean. Without this, it's hard for me to breathe.]
He needs to breathe on his own if he releases the battlesuit and awakens, but Cha Jun Sung is a land mutant, so he can't act freely. He'll have to swim since he won't have a booster, and it will get pathetic. He probably won't be able to show the power of a level 7 either.
[Why did you come here?]
[I was on my way home when I smelled something sweet. I turned around and came here because I wanted to see what was going on.]
Oh! It seems Lifers' blood lured Levadan as well. If they had known a level 9 would react, they would have reconsidered using blood as bait.
[Other guys were going to come to, but they decided not to when they realized I was coming. If they had come, you wouldn't have been able to take them on with your tired body.]
It is fortunate that Levadan has no intention to fight them.
He is confident that he can run away, but he doesn't know what damages there might be.
Cha Jun Sung looks up toward the sky.
Albatrus is returning. He is alone. If he returns, they will feel much more liberated.
[I'll ask. What are you?]
[I live to hunt, to kill things like you. You'll be hunted down by us one day too, though it won't be easy.]
Levadan roars at the sudden provocation.
The sea shakes with sound waves ringing everywhere. It is laughing in disbelief, not in anger.
[Hah! Me? I'm the ruler. Nothing can take me on.]
Cha Jun Sung took out a machine the size of a fingernail, and went toward Levadan.
He is doing this because he knows that it doesn't want to fight.
A weak sense.
It is similar to the proportion of a single grain of sand to a beach, but the Levadan is able to feel even the smallest changes in its body.
[If you keep this piece on you, hunters will go looking for you shortly. Take it off if you're scared, and keep it on if you're confident.]
It is a level 9.
It won't reject him because of its pride.
[My day to day is boring. I'll enjoy ripping and breaking those that try to challenge me as they did in the past.]
Cha Jun Sung went back again. In actuality, he wanted to hurry up and get away.
It is hard to even withstand Levadan's energy. He is feeling the pressure he felt from Black Lord.
Considering the ocean as an environment, not even Black Lord would be able to beat Levadan in a fight here. No level 9s really.
[Even being in front of you is tiring. If you allow it, I want to go.]
[Those guys. Did you do that?]
[We combined our strength, but I was at the forefront. Why are you asking?]
Levadan gestures toward the Deep-Sea Teeth. It grows dark.
[Are you strong?]
[Here? In the sea?]
[Your nature itself.]
[Nature? I guess you could say I'm strong. But I can't beat you.]
Cha Jun Sung didn't show unnecessary pride.
Levadan has the temperament of Black Lord and Red Eye.
[Is that so? Fine. I won't kill you. But prove it.]
Levadan's body compresses and shoots out like a spring. The attacks of giant species usually begin from their bodies.
Boom boom boom!
Cha Jun Sung went back as much as it came at him with his reverse booster.
However, the Levadan is much faster. A 1200m body can't be ignored.
No matter how diligently an ant moves, it becomes meaningless next to a human step.
Its huge mouth with sharp teeth opens.
Its mouth is several times larger than that of the Deep-Sea Teeth. Cha Jun Sung didn't avoid it first. The attack range is wide, so he can't avoid it easily. If that's the case, it's better to wait and first figure out where it will attack.
'It is a simple bodily attack pattern? It's plenty strong just looking at this, but Lifers could catch it if they came in as a huge group.'
He doesn't let down his guard. There's no way a level 9 can only do this much.
The beyond level 7 sea mutant he has seen until now has skills other than bodily attacks like sucking in water pressure and shooting its breath.
If Levadan shoots that, it will show a power that is incomparable to that of its underlings. And he was too right.
Boom boom boom boom!
It is a long spear formed out of the water.
Levadan sucked in seawater, didn't let it out all at once, but fired it little by little as though spitting.
The problem is that the spitting cycle goes four or five times per second. Each spear goes at supersonic speed.
The difficult situation continued.
Cha Jun Sung was busy avoiding them.
He isn't avoiding them by seeing them with his eyes and hearing them with his ears. It is with his mutant instincts and immediate reactions of his battlesuit. The firing cycles get shorter and shorter. It is like a machine gun.
Cha Jun Sung hits away the water spears flying at him with Hades.
Incredible repulsive force.
He loses balance because his hands and feet are entangled.
A water spear collides with Cha Jun Sung's chest. The energy barrier was the first to reduce the shock, and the battlesuit's armor was the secondary measure to do so.
Even that isn't enough, so he goes flying far away even with the water's resistance.
'I can't use all of the battlesuit functions because there isn't enough energy.'
He wasn't able to go over his gear after battle. He can't even use 50% power so as of now, he can't respond to a simple attack.
Levadan goes soaring.
It is going for him while he is struggling to find balance again.
Should he use the reverse booster to get away?
It could be expecting this.
Then he will go in a direction that isn't expected. Forward.
Cha Jun Sung goes to meet Levadan. There is embarra.s.sment in Levadan's eyes.
That small thing is thinking of taking him on?
Hades sc.r.a.pes by Levadan's eyes. Then he goes flying high. Levadan struggles in pain and glares up at Cha Jun Sung, who is looking down at it from the sky.
[I'll let you go. This wound - I won't heal it and I'll just leave it. Did you say beings like you will come looking for me? I'll welcome a challenge any time.]
[You have succeeded in placing a location tracking device on Levadan's body. You have earned 10 billion reward points.]
He has already opened level S missions and the store, so this does not get replicated.
Only Cha Jun Sung got reward points for the location tracking device.
With this, the c.u.mulative amount is 30 billion. He has gained the foundation to go into a level S mission.
Levadan dives into the sea.
It came here out of curiosity, but it was pretty fun. It came a long distance, but it had its worth.
"There's really no way to know what'll happen with this world."
He entered a mission to advance, but hadn't dreamed he would meet Levadan.
It is a variable.
If he had been weak, he would have been killed by this variable.
He needs to get stronger. If he wants to stay alive, he needs to get stronger.
Cha Jun Sung was deep in thought, and then went back to reality.
When Cha Jun Sung opened his eyes however, he wasn't in reality, the briefing room, or Mechanic City, but in some random place he had never seen before.
Volume 8 / Chapter 230
Editor: Hungry Panda
"… Where is this?"
Cha Jun Sung's eyes and voice are full of wariness.
He did not pull out Hades or show combative behavior however.
He is positive this is an unfamiliar place, but it doesn't have an atmosphere of danger.
It is just a little uncomfortable.
The three choices for a Lifer who completes a mission are reality, briefing room, and Mechanic City.
There is nothing else.
Of those, the return locations for reality and Mechanic City are different according to summons locations, but they aren't in places that Lifers don't know about.
"It this a hotel?"
The overall configuration is that of a large, luxurious room comparable to that of the royal or diamond room of a top hotel.
Its difference from a modern hotel is that it is a little more futuristic.
It is like a newly-built hotel, as if it is completely outfitted in Life Mission store products.
No. It really is.
Cha Jun Sung kept calling for Odin, but he doesn't respond. He looked at his PDA, but it only functions as a watch. It doesn't do anything.
It won't go into the store, and he can't contact Odin. His return is blocked as well.
Only the number indicating the time in reality changes.
"What is it now?"
"I apologize. I invited you, but it isn't an invitation that I got consent for."
Cha Jun Sung was surprised by the sound coming from behind him, but he didn't react.
It is just seriousness in which he can't sense animosity.
A hologram in the form of a person, smiles at Cha Jun Sung.
It is amazingly clear.
It is as though a real person is standing in front of him. It is so clear that if he hadn't been wearing his battlesuit or if he wasn't a Lifer who had gone through body modifications, he wouldn't have been able to tell if it were a real or virtual image.
"I'll apologize once more. It is bad manners not to go out to greet a guest, but please understand that I cannot do that."
"What are you?"
It is a middle-aged man.
He looked older than himself, so Cha Jun Sung addressed him as an elder.
"We don't have much time. I don't know if I'll have enough time to explain everything. Take a seat."
The man walks.
Cha Jun Sung follows. He directed Cha Jun Sung to sit across from him in a gentleman-like gesture.
"I'll skip the small talk and get straight to the point. Odin will explain the rest."
Cha Jun Sung nods.
If time is limited, he needs to hear what is important.
Cha Jun Sung doesn't know anything at this point, not even why he is in this place.
However, he doesn't need to hear the information he can get from Odin. He'll hear what he can't from this man, and then fit everything together like a puzzle.
"Great. You make decisions quickly. I didn't know we'd meet like this, but it's a pleasure. I'm Jigneon, the General Manager of Life Mission."
Meeting General Manager Jigneon.
The chance of this happening is like that of getting stabbed randomly in the street. But even if Cha Jun Sung had been expecting this to happen, he would have been surprised anyway.
The person who created Life Mission, which is inexplicable with modern science and is something that might appear in the story of a novel, is right in front of Cha Jun Sung's eyes.
And that person is telling him something incredible.
"Are you saying that this Borteth went against a promise the supervisors made, got out of control, and 'started interfering'?"
"But this sounds like an issue within your group. Why are you telling me? The officials can just figure it out among themselves."
Cha Jun Sung shows a little antipathy toward Jigneon. He is going through missions of his own will, but he doesn't like that he is being used as a specimen for experiment.
Jigneon didn't continue speaking right away. He took a sip of the tea he had been stirring in his hand. He was drinking tea in real life, too.
"There are two reasons."
"You're the only Lifer who can resolve or interfere in this matter, and you will be affected by this intervention."
Cha Jun Sung frowns.
They are speaking without his battlesuit, so his expression shows.
"Borteth has a lot of ambition. As one of the three Life Mission supervisors, he wants to surpa.s.s Gabenu and me in getting the top results."
A moderate amount of ambition can become a source of power. Not having that amount of ambition means that the person does not want it enough.
But it is severe in Borteth's case. It goes beyond ambition to greed.
"The process doesn't matter as long as the results are good, so Borteth does annoying things and he always get some kind of result. Even if he fails, so he doesn't feel discouraged. It seems that's why he won't leave it alone. He's breaking all of our promises too."
If entrepreneurs who want to become rich commit crimes in order to succeed, most will come under judgment of the law.
It isn't right to compare with Life Mission, but a collision is inevitable if everyone is going on a righteous path and only one person tries to stray from that.
If that collision becomes an emotional fight, it could ruin everything.
"It isn't good to ignore the processes. I'm not talking about rules or promises. Those are important, but there is something else that is truly important."
"Are you referring to order?"
It is a part that Cha Jun Sung doesn't understand as he listens.
"It's similar. According to the way you put it, everything has an order. But what do you think will happen if we ignore that order? The warped order might be visible in the beginning, but it becomes harder and harder to keep track of as it becomes more entangled."
There are things that the three supervisors need to consult each other on while proceeding, but Borteth is acting alone.
"One of those independent actions was the Heavy Gravity in North America."
"We gained a lot of data from that battle between you and the level 8s then. The result is good, isn't it? What do you think happened to Borteth after that?"
"He did receive punishment even if it wasn't very drastic. The problem started from there."
Borteth had already shown severe opposition, but getting punished by Jigneon after getting clear results made him revolt.
On top of that, he formed bad feelings toward Cha Jun Sung, who is the source of his punishment. Cha Jun Sung had become a subject for him to vent on.
Cha Jun Sung was speechless in disbelief.
"I'll refer to them as investors to make it easier for you to understand. Those investors are looking kindly on Borteth's independent actions kindly as well. You understand why, right?"
It's because the results are good.
Jigneon gave him punishment but it was released quickly. There's a reason why he acts on his own ridiculously even when he is being threatened.
No matter how much they don't like it, Borteth is one of the three people who created Life Mission. He is a major shareholder with 33.3% of shares.
"You understand that you'll be disadvantaged, right? If we leave him alone now, he's sure to take his anger out on you."
"What a crazy b.a.s.t.a.r.d."
He'll always have to be on guard, but it'll be really dangerous if Borteth interferes while he is fighting a level 8 like last time. He doesn't want to make a supervisor into the enemy.
If helpers are the messengers of G.o.d in Life Mission, the supervisors are those G.o.ds. The future is clear if the creature makes the creator into the enemy.
"Did you secretly bring me here to help me?"
Jigneon had matched Cha Jun Sung's return time on purpose.
It would have been too obvious if he got summoned from reality, so he used the point when the gate opened.
"Borteth chose a Lifer to act on his behalf. He means to act from the shadows rather than showing himself on the forefront. This means that if something goes wrong, he'll be able to cut it off from the tail. This will make it more frustrating, so what will you do? I have to choose one too. You."
There is a saying that a shrimp's back bursts in a fight between whales.
Cha Jun Sung felt strange because it was as though a mere human was being placed in the middle of a fight between G.o.ds.
"Is the Lifer Borteth chose a Ranker?"
"I heard he is a Ranker."
"World Federation? b.l.o.o.d.y Kingdom?"
"Which do you think?"
It doesn't seem like he would be from World Federation. All of the Lifers there are honest. A few have strange personalities, but none would be willing to do whatever Borteth told them to do as if they were machines.
"Right. Will you be able to figure out who it is?"
"Blood King? Dark Side?"
There aren't many in b.l.o.o.d.y Kingdom who are both skilled and smart. The two he just mentioned are the best.
"Neither. Borteth needs an avatar that'll do what he wants on his behalf. Those two are smart. They would probably just pretend to obey Borteth and calculate their options instead."
"It's no fun if I tell you. I have a video to show you. Once I show you this and tell you what I need to say, our conversation will be over."