I’m Not a Regressor
[Translator – Maccas ]
[Proofreader – ilafy ]
Chapter 145: Real Man (1)
To my little sister, whom I love.
I don’t know if the day where this letter reaches you will come… but I’ll still write this.
First of all, I want to say that I’m sorry.
I committed deeds that someone mustn't do as a human under the reasoning that I had to protect you.
I won’t ask for your forgiveness because I already know that what I’ve done cannot be forgiven.
But I don’t regret what I did.
Even if I returned to the past… I think I would’ve made the same choice, and that’s because I resolved myself to do whatever it took to protect you.
Although I probably won’t be in this world anymore by the time you get this letter, I'll leave one shameless request behind:
Please live happily.
Make a lot of nice friends, find somebody you love, get married…
Haha, I didn’t think that a day where I would say such things would come.
But still… my wish is for you to live with a smile.
I’m sorry I was such a bad big brother.
* * *
The sudden attack operation on the ‘digestion facilities’ nearby Osaka and Tokyo started by using the information Yuji had given them.
It wasn’t easy, as there were a minimum of 50 to 200 members of the Black Star Organization and Templars above mid-rank in each branch, but with Ha-eun, Ohjin, and Sakaki’s combined might, the ‘digestion facilities’ were destroyed one by one.
The one who especially stood out amongst them was Ha-eun.
The members of the Black Star Organization ran away with fear from the way Ha-eun evaporated the sprays of water created by the Awakeners of Hippocampus with overwhelming firepower.
—When the number of destroyed digestion facilities became only three…
“Ugh, this is so goddamn tiring!”
Ha-eun, who had returned to the Kuroushi clan’s hideout, sat down while flapping her shirt drenched in sweat.
It’d only taken three days to destroy three of the five digestion facilities that Yuji had given them the locations of.
Although she had a superhuman body, she couldn’t help getting exhausted since she entered large-scale combat with hundreds of Awakeners nearly every single day.
Even more so as she had just become a 9-Star Awakener and wasn’t yet used to her strength.
“Sigh, this is really hard to handle.”
Ha-eun looked down at her chest with resentment.
“…Your chest is hard to handle?”
Certainly, her chest had more than enough volume to be a big hindrance to intense movements. To be frank, there were probably several cases of people looking at them inadvertently during combat.
‘It can’t be helped.’
Since Ohjin couldn’t just sit still while Ha-eun was going through all that trouble…
“I’ll hold it for you so it’s easi—”
“What the hell are you talking about?”
Ha-eun furrowed her brow and struck Ohjin’s head.
Ohjin cackled out.
“What’s hard to handle?”
“The Dragon’s Heart. It’s really damn hard to handle.”
“Isn’t it because it hasn't been long since you became a 9-Star Awakener?”
“There’s also that…”
Ha-eun sighed and shook her head.
“But honestly, I think the bigger reason is because I haven’t become a proper 9-Star yet.”
She had become a 9-Star during the process of absorbing the Dragon’s Heart, but her level was actually still closer to that of an 8-Star.
‘After all, it’s only been a couple months since she became an 8-Star.’
Even worse, the way she’d become a 9-Star wasn’t through obtaining some special enlightenment or some kind of rigorous training.
Ha-eun had just become a 9-Star by accident while her body was receiving a nonstandard amount of power from the Dragon's Heart.
As an analogy, she was somewhat like a nouveau riche who became a millionaire by winning a lottery rather than an entrepreneur who earned millions through operating an outstanding business.
The difference was clear when you compared her with Cheon Doyoon, who was also a 9-Star Awakener.
“You’ll slowly get used to your strength.”
“Ugh. I’m also in the middle of trying various methods to try to get used to it.”
Ha-eun took out a cigarette and continued.
“Like embodying the image of ‘fire’ using this.”
“Ah, so that’s why you kept taking out a cigarette before fighting lately.”
The most important aspect of handling a stigma was embodying the precise image inside your head.
Using the stigma of Lyra as an example, if you imagined the spear to be a lightning rod, it would become much easier to gather up lightning.
Back to the subject of embodying the image of fire using a cigarette… Although he had a rough understanding, Ohjin couldn’t help but think if it was enough.
“Yup. I was able to handle my stigma easily without doing things like this before, but now I need to do this to get my mana to move more smoothly.”
“I just thought that you suddenly got eighth-grade syndrome at a weird time.”
“What are you talking about?”
“Well, I guess your age is too—”
Ha-eun’s fist that swung like lightning struck his solar plexus.
Ohjin’s body shook violently due to the suffocating pain.
Ha-eun smiled brightly and grabbed Ohjin’s hair.
“My age is what?”
“A fresh age that’s reminiscent of the buds that sprout in spring.”
“Yes, yes. That’s my nice little Ohjin.”
She gently patted his head that was in her grasp with a satisfied smile.
* * *
Translator - Maccas
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
“Hup. If we’re done taking care of things here, let’s get ready to return. We need enough rest for the rigorous fight tomorrow.”
“No, we won’t need to fight tomorrow.”
“Hm? What do you mean?”
“There’s something like that. Anyways, head back first and get some rest.”
“Hmm. Well, alright. I’ll wash up and sleep until the afternoon, so wake me up if something happens.”
Ha-eun headed to the bathroom that was in the main building.
Ohjin looked at her gradually become distant and then turned around in search of Sakaki.
Sakaki and the members of Kuroushi were holding a bunch of corpses with both arms and moving them outside.
“How is the situation?”
“As you can see… it is miserable.”
Sakaki put down the shouldered corpses of the Black Star Organization members and sighed deeply.
“Even if they are atrocious bastards… watching them die in such large numbers is making my chest feel heavy.”
He looked at the corpses of the Black Star Organization members that were stacked up like a mountain with bitter eyes.
They’d died while foaming at the mouths with their eyes rolled back into their heads. Amongst them, there was also Mika, who had provoked Ha-eun and fallen unconscious after getting beat up by her.
“Is it because of the seahorse poison?”
Sakaki nodded with a stiff expression.
The members of the Black Star Organization who were captured during the process of taking down branches had been locked up in the outbuilding, but once three days had passed, deaths had started to occur continuously because they weren’t able to drink the ‘water’.
Naturally, they found a bit of the ‘water’ that was mentioned before from mid-rank Templars or safes hidden in the digestion facilities, but they couldn’t save all of them because it wasn’t even close to enough for the number of captured members.
‘There’s no reason to save them, either.’
Most of the captured members had records of committing heinous crimes like the Owl faction. No, even if they didn’t have a record of being criminals, there was no reason to go out of their way to feed them their limited supply of ‘water’ when they thought about the deeds the Black Star members had done.
“Yuji said a while ago that Sosuke would start to take action at this point.”
Sakaki clenched his pot-sized hand and emitted ferocious energy.
“Most likely tonight… we will finally be able to fight with that bastard.”
“So it seems.”
Ohjin looked at the mountain of corpses with a blank look.
“Have you heard which of the two remaining facilities he would be at?”
There were two digestion facilities remaining amongst the information obtained by Yuji.
One was located in Osaka, and the other in Tokyo.
“Yuji says that he’ll probably be in the one in Osaka since the digestion facility’s scale is much larger than the other one.”
“Oh, right, could you pass this over to Yuji?”
Sakaki extended out a small glass bottle from his pocket.
There was clear water splashing around inside the glass bottle.
“He should have one day remaining until the deadline of the ‘poison’.”
“Are you sparing Yuji?”
“I thought about it a lot… and decided to do so.”
Ohjin cackled out while looking at Sakaki, who was nodding with a serious expression.
“…Is this something funny?”
Sakaki frowned like it was unpleasant.
“Ah, I apologize. Then I shall hand this water over to Yuji.”
After receiving the glass bottle from Sakaki, Ohjin playfully spun it on top of his palm.
“Mr. Sakaki. So we’re going to ambush the digestion facility in Osaka this afternoon, right?”
“I have something I’d like to say in regards to that plan.”
“What is it?”
Sakaki looked at Ohjin while tilting his head.
“I think it’ll take a while to explain, so let’s talk inside.”
Ohjin turned around and headed to the main building.”
* * *
—The afternoon of that day…
When the blazing sun that brightened the sky settled and curtain-like darkness was cast over the sky, Ohjin slowly headed to the outbuilding.
Humming a tune while walking, in his hand was a glass bottle that contained clear water.
—The basement of the outbuilding.
He could see the figure of a young man tied up on a chair under the dim light.
The young man with a skinny build gave off a fragile impression.
Ohjin dragged a chair over and sat in front of the young man.
Yuji, who had his head dropped as if he was unconscious, looked up at Ohjin sitting in from of him.
“I’m Ohjin. Gwon Ohjin.”
“Weren’t you going… to Osaka?”
“I decided to drop out this time.”
Ohjin took out a glass bottle from his pocket.
Yuji’s eyes locked onto the clear water within the glass and widened.
“Mr. Sakaki told me to hand it over to you.”
Yuji shut his lips tight like he was speechless, and soon tears started to drip down.
“Thank you… thank you… sob.”
Whatever the circumstances, he was given mercy despite having contributed to capturing and killing Sakaki’s precious members.
He couldn’t help but cry because of his guilt and gratitude.
“You said that your little sister was kidnapped by the Black Star Organization, right?”
“…Yes. That’s correct.”
“I understand how you feel since someone precious to me was also kidnapped before.”
Ohjin leisurely leaned his back on the chair and continued.
“Everything in front of my eyes turned white… and I thought I was going to go insane at any moment.”
Yuji looked at Ohjin with shaking eyes.
“Yes… I also felt that way.”
“Did you really feel that way?”
Ohjin recalled the memories of when Ha-eun was kidnapped.
The memories of how he couldn’t breathe and how his entire body had trembled.
His head couldn’t think of anything other than saving her.
“Then why did you do that?”
Ohjin playfully rotated the glass bottle in his hand.
Yuji looked at Ohjin with a perplexed expression.
“I don’t understand what you’re—”
“Do you remember what you said when you said that you had a final request?” Ohjin asked while letting out a short giggle.
The words that Yuji had cried out while kneeled down on the ground.
-Kurosaki Sosuke… that monster… that devil wearing the mask of a human… please… please kill him!
The final request he’d shouted out in the midst of fear.
“Don’t you think that it’s strange?”
“If I were you, I wouldn’t have asked us to kill Kurosaki Sosuke, but instead to save my little sister.”
Yuji’s pupils trembled.
He shook his head while putting on an awkward smile.
“That’s because the ‘Seahorse Poison’ will naturally disappear once Kurosaki Sosuke dies.”
“Is that right? That’s really weird.”
The edges of Ohjin’s lips twisted up.
“Didn’t you say that Kurosaki should be in possession of the antidote?”
“If the poison will disappear naturally once Kurosaki dies, isn’t obtaining the antidote unnecessary?”
Ohjin pulled out the plug on the glass bottle.
A clear sound echoed out inside the dimly lit basement.
-Ah, Ohjin, you aren’t using that this time? I’m talking about how you make them say what they said in reverse.
-There isn’t really a need to do that this time around.
He recalled the conversation he had with Ha-eun not too long ago.
Where was the need to go out of his way to confirm if he was lying or not?
That is, there was no need when he knew that someone was lying in the first place.
“Right? It sounds weird even for you, doesn't it?”
Ohjin poured the water inside of the glass bottle onto the floor.
Ohjin threw the glass bottle to Kurosaki Sosuke, who was staring at him with cold eyes.
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