I'm Not a Regressor

REAPER SCANS

 

I’m Not a Regressor

[Translator – Rainypup ]

[Proofreader – ilafy ]

 

Chapter 226: The Council of the Seven Stars (2)

 

“Wow, we haven’t come to the Association in quite some time,” Ha-eun exclaimed as she looked up at the high-rise building. Just as she said, they hadn’t needed to visit the Association in a long time.

Ohjin couldn’t even remember the last time they’d been there. ‘I wonder if General Manager Han is doing well.’ He smirked as he recalled the gorilla-like man. He didn’t care much about the others, but Han was a friend of his.

“Oh, right. Let’s make the most of the Association’s corporate card while we’re here!” Ha-eun exclaimed.

“Oooh.” As expected of her. He didn’t know how she was always so smart.

“Should we ask them to buy us Hanwoo(Korean beef)?” she asked.

“Eating meat on someone else’s dime is always the best.” Ohjin agreed.

The two cheerfully headed toward the Association, excited about using tax dollars for a free meal.

“It’s been a while, Awakener Ohjin.” General Manager Han greeted them outside the building and smiled at Ohjin, looking like some sort of scientist-made, murderous gorilla. It was hard to believe, but he was purely welcoming Ohjin since he hadn’t seen him in a while.

‘I can’t get used to him, especially since I haven’t seen him in a while.’ Ohjin forced himself to relax and let go of his weapon as he instead opted for a handshake.

“How have you been?” Han asked.

“I… can’t say I’ve been doing well with everything going on lately, but I’m fine.”

Han nodded wryly. “I heard about your feats. I thought you were great when I first recruited you, but I honestly never imagined it would be to this extent.” From when he defeated the Owl King, Cheon Doyoon, to his performance in Japan, to dealing with the Hirudo faction alongside Damien at the Cologrande house in San Fruttuoso, they were all incredible achievements.

Of course, there were rumors that Ohjin intentionally manipulated or hid the truth, but either way, each instance was something a lone Awakener who’d only had his abilities for less than two years could never achieve.

“It was all possible due to the Association’s full support,” Ohjin said.

“Haha. We didn’t do much, so I’m ashamed to hear you say that.” Manager Han gave Ha-eun, who was standing by Ohjin’s side, a simple smile that didn’t fit his appearance. “Awakener Ha-eun, how are you doing these days?”

“I’m doing well.” She slightly pulled on Ohjin’s arm as if to show off.

Seeing how they clung to each other, Han continued to smile and shook his head. “When I first met you, you said you weren’t lovers.”

“We weren’t at the time.”

“Haha. Even back then, you seemed to be more than friends.” Manager Han looked down at Ha-eun’s fully restored right leg. “Did you know Awakener Ohjin, who is usually stingy with money, insisted on paying the full amount for your prosthetic?”

“H-huh? D-did something like that happen?” Ha-eun’s eyes widened in surprise, as if she had never heard the story before. A moment later, she tried to hide her blushing cheeks and tapped the floor with her shoes. 

“When did this punk do such a cute thing?” She kneaded Ohjin’s butt from an angle that General Manager Han couldn’t see.

Ohjin sighed as if he were getting a headache. “General Manager…”

“Oh, was it a secret? I’m sorry, Awakener Ohjin.” Contrary to his words, Manager Han gave the two of them a satisfied look.

“Let’s go in already.” Ohjin swaggered into the Association, even though he was blushing as he recalled the past. ‘Thank god.’

At least he hadn’t forgotten that…

Yet.

“You can go directly to the president’s office,” Manager Han said as he led them to an elevator that could only be accessed with a special keycard and pressed a button.  

When they arrived in the Association president’s office, they met the old man nicknamed 'Viper'’, Han Taeho.

“You’re here?” Han Taeho got up from his seat and approached Ohjin.

“Yes,” Ohjin said. “Why did you call for me?”

“Sit down first. Would coffee be alright?”

“Yes.”

“Wait a moment, please.”

* * *

Reaper Scans

Translator - Rainypup

Proofreader - ilafy

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He could have asked a secretary to get a cup of coffee since he was the Association’s president, but Taeho prepared the drinks himself and brought them to the coffee table.

“I heard something bad had happened recently. I’m glad you’re safe.”

Was he talking about how Ohjin was trapped in the other realm?

“The others helped me return safely.”

“Don’t you think it’s thanks to the connections you’ve accumulated?” Taeho took a sip of his coffee and smiled. “I wish he had come back alive as well.”

The atmosphere in the room intensified in an instant. It didn’t take much to realize who “he” was.

“By the time I arrived,” Ohjin explained, “old man Cheon Sanggil was already—”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Taeho said, shaking his head. “I’m not trying to blame you. Just think of it as an old man’s complaints.” He seemed to have had a deep relationship with Sanggil, and his wrinkled face was full of sadness. “Anyway, didn’t humanity lose two of its Seven Stars recently?”

“That’s right…”

The news had caused worldwide panic.

“It seems like leaders around the world think special measures are needed,” Taeho said.

“By ‘special measures’, you mean…?”

“The Council of the Seven Stars will soon be held.”

The Council of the Seven Stars was a kind of competition where candidates from different countries gathered to be tested, and the ones with the highest evaluations would be able to join the Seven Stars.

“Are they going to fill both empty seats with one meeting?”

“That’s right.” Han Taeho nodded. Since he’d summoned Ohjin to his office and told him about the Council of the Seven Stars, that meant… “I want you to be the candidate representing Korea.”

“Me…?” Ohjin gave him a stunned look. He was going to send him as a Seven Stars candidate?

“I’m still only an 8-Star,” Ohjin argued. Candidates for the Council of Seven Stars were supposed to be high-ranking Awakeners with at least a 9-Star ranking. No, in fact, the prevailing opinion was that even being a 9-Star was not enough for consideration. Obviously, it’d be controversial if he, who was still only an 8-Star, became a candidate.

“There isn’t a rule saying that only those who have reached 9-Star or higher can be selected.”

“Isn’t it an unspoken rule?” Ohjin asked.

“It is only implied and not a violation of regulations.” As Taeho said, there was no rule that only those who had reached 9-Star or higher could be selected.

“Aren’t there Awakeners better than me?” Although Korea didn’t have many high-ranking Awakeners, there were still more than 20 of them throughout the country. Of course, most of them were said to have low-level stigmas, commonly called ‘miscellaneous stigmas’, but that didn’t mean there were no high-ranking Awakeners with a stigma from a zodiac or above.

“Even Mr. Lee Woohyuk is a 9-Star Awakener.” News that Woohyuk had entered closed training and reached 9-Star was so widespread that even Ohjin, who’d been lying in a Cologrande hospital, had heard it.

“I already contacted Lee Woohyuk and received his consent,” Taeho said.

“Why would you go so far?”

“A long time ago, that guy, Cheon Sanggil, said that, sooner or later, a new member of the Seven Stars would emerge from Korea.” Taeho turned his deeply sunken eyes to Ohjin. “You are the new member Sanggil mentioned.”

“...” Had Sanggil said something like that behind his back? ‘I didn’t know he thought so highly of me.’ Objectively speaking, he didn’t have a deep connection with the man—they’d only spoken a few times.

“Considering your performance so far, I don’t think people would find your selection strange.” He was right. Ohjin’s performance over the past year or so had been so great that other Awakeners couldn’t even compare themselves. “Won’t you consider attending the Council of the Seven Stars?”

“That’s…” Ohjin squinted his eyes and thought.

‘Seven Stars, huh?’ It was a great opportunity to receive honor and power in an instant, as long as he succeeded, but…

‘I honestly don’t feel like it.’ First, it was too hurried. It had only been a year and a few months since he became an Awakener. Even if he’d done great so far, it was still too early to attempt to become a Seven Star.

‘It’s like a rookie actor trying to get an Academy Award for Best Actor.’ Skill was important, but experience was also important, and most of all…

‘Even if I become a Seven Star, I won’t gain much.’ He didn’t particularly need the honor and power of being a Seven Star. Of course, he might receive some immediate benefits like Sanggil’s private, autonomous island as soon as he joined, but that wasn’t very tempting since he was only focused on leveling up the Black Heaven.

“Please. Korea needs a hero like you right now.” Taeho bowed his head deeply. Ever since the death of the Star of Celestial Pivot, Cheon Sanggil, Korea had been in a state of chaos. Stock prices had hit rock bottom, crimes and acts of terror had greatly increased, and riots had occurred across the country.

The difference the presence of a Seven Star made to the country was unimaginable, especially since the fear of the terrorist ‘Black Star Organization’ was at its peak.

‘It has nothing to do with me.’ Despite Taeho’s plea, Ohjin remained firm in his decision. He was not a patriotic soldier, so there was no reason for him to devote himself to the country.

He tried to explain his refusal. “I’m sorry, but…”

“Of course, I know you won’t get much other than the ‘Baptism of Stars’ after you join them.”

‘The Baptism of Stars?’

“Wait… What is the ‘Baptism of Stars’?”

“Hmm? You don’t know?”

Of course, Ohjin never imagined he’d be considered as a candidate, so he didn’t know much about the process.

“The moment you become a Seven Star,” Taeho explained, “You will be baptized at the Milky Way Spring in the celestials’ shrine. The Milky Way Spring is where three dragon veins intersect, so there are cases of an Awakener rising to the next level just from being baptized there.”

Dragon veins… Not even a single vein, but an intersection of three of them…

Ohjin tightly gripped Taeho’s hand and nodded.

“I am always ready to sacrifice myself for the country.”

____

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