I'm Not a Regressor

REAPER SCANS

 

I’m Not a Regressor

[Translator – Rainypup ]

[Proofreader – ilafy ]

 

Chapter 243: Baptism of Stars (5)

 

Ohjin turned and exited the spring that flowed with starlight instead of water. Still naked, he quickly put on his clothes and looked back at the Milky Way Spring. ‘I absorbed so much, but it’s not even noticeable.’

Both his body and soul (even though he hadn’t been responsible for the soul part) had absorbed the mana within the spring, but it still shone as brilliantly as when he’d first seen it. Just how much mana did it contain? Even for him and his power of the Black Heaven, it was simply overwhelming.

‘Will I be able to absorb that much mana fully if I completely awaken the Black Heaven one day? I guess everyone would know I have the Black Heaven if I did something like that, though.’ 

He made a wry smile and shook his head. Maybe it was because he hadn’t encountered something he couldn’t absorb with the Black Heaven so far, but he felt oddly competitive. Ohjin tried to push those useless thoughts away and swept his hair from his eyes.

Polaris raised his head and looked up at the sky. [Now… it's time.] The celestial’s body gradually faded and melted back into the Milky Way Spring as his voice faintly resonated through the area. [May your road be filled with bright stars.]

The other celestials silently looked at Ohjin. After learning of his identity as the Heaven-defying Star and hearing his title of the ‘Star of Twinkling Brilliance’, they couldn’t help but feel awkward.

“Everyone looks confused.” Vega’s calm voice broke the awkward silence, and she looked at the other celestials as she continued to speak. “First of all, I hope you keep the things that happened here a secret.”

"Didn't you say something about revealing yourself?" Deneb looked grim, his arms crossed.

“Nothing good can come from revealing it to everyone,” Vega replied.

"That's… that's true," Deneb agreed. Even if others knew Ohjin was the Heaven-defying Star, there was no need to try spreading the information. "The baptism is over, so I'm off." He turned and trudged over to the exit fissure, giving off an atmosphere of heavy emotion from the shock of what he’d learned.

Spica hopped over and poked Ohjin on the shoulder. "Hey, hey, can I ask you a question?"

Ohjin, who was drying his water-soaked hair, nodded.

"Do you know what will happen to me and my children in the future?"

Vega frowned and tried to pull Spica away. “Stop it.”

"Oh, why?! I'm curious!" Spica shouted.

Meanwhile, Regulus, Aldebaran, and Ari also gave Ohjin curious looks. They wanted to know what the future held as well.

"A-ahem…”

“I’m… also quite curious.”

There was only one thing Ohjin could say in such a situation… “Everyone was eaten by the Heavenly Demon.” He didn’t know if it was true or not, but it wasn’t hard to imagine what the future held if the first time around had gone according to prophecy.

The celestials frowned at his answer.

"Oh… well, I see."

"Hmm. My children are one thing, but even I was eaten by the darkness?"

It was quite a shocking revelation. If someone had told Ohjin he would die soon, he would’ve probably responded similarly.

"It will be different this time," Ohjin said, looking back at them. "I’ll make sure of it."

"Oh, my." Ari approached him with a deep smile across her face. "I thought you were a cute puppy, but you were a reliable wolf!" As she got closer, she gently embraced his arm.

Squish—

Something pressed against his arm. For a moment, he looked down and saw two soft mountains enshrouded in fields of fluffy wool.

“Ahem!” Vega pulled her away. “Aren't you tired?”

Ohjin tried to respond. "I'm not very ti—”

“The baptism of stars is physically and mentally tiring.” She dragged him by the arm back toward the fissure. Realizing what was happening, he gave her a bitter smile and followed her. After some time, Vega looked back behind them to see if any of the others were behind them. “Spica is one thing, but don’t get involved with the Celestial of Aries.”

“I wasn’t planning on doing so,” Ohjin said. “What makes you say that, though?” Was there an unsettling rumor or something? ‘Has she been secretly communicating with the Black Star Celestials?’ Such a thing wasn’t impossible. No matter how transcendent celestials were, they weren’t much different from humans when it came to their emotions.

Conflict, rejection, reconciliation, love… The transcendents' sanctuary was like a miniature version of human society. That being the case, it only made sense for traitors to also exist. He gave Vega a nervous look.

In response, Vega desperately shouted, “A-aren’t they big?!”

‘What?’

Vega put her hands to her waist and gave him a stern look. “Anyway! You can't talk to the Celestial of Aries!”

"I will obey your order, Lady Vega." Ohjin smirked and turned away. “If that’s all, then I’ll be going now.”

“Get home safely,” she said.

After their brief goodbye, he found himself on a familiar, gray street.

 

* * *

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Translator - Rainypup

Proofreader - ilafy

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Onlookers and reporters gathered like clouds around the entrance, perhaps due to the rumors that Ohjin was being baptized.

"I heard the Lightning Wolf is going to be baptized today."

"What’s his title going to be…?"

"Wouldn’t it be something like ‘Dog Star’?"

"Man, that's not part of the Big Dipper."

‘Black Curtain.’ Ohjin hid his presence and escaped through the crowd. It would’ve been better for him to agree to a light interview to bolster his image as a ‘hero’, but he had more important things to do.

Ta一ang!

He quickly returned home using his wire shooters and opened the front door. Since the living room was empty, he had no clue where Ha-eun was.

"Haa…" Ohjin sat in the center of the living room, took a deep breath, and slowly closed his eyes. ‘It said the transmission was delayed due to the overflowing mana.’ If that was the case, then things would probably proceed once his mana calmed down.

He turned his attention inward and felt the mana from his stigma surging through his mana circuit like a river on the brink of flooding. For the next two hours, he calmed the raging river by guiding the overflowing mana into the Black Heaven.

-Ti一ring!

[Awakener Lee Shinhyuk’s memory has been successfully inherited.]

His vision twisted as he saw the message he had been waiting for.

 

* * *

 

“Haa, haa!” Shinhyuk was panting hard, and the ground shook as rocks cascaded like rain.

‘This…’ Ohjin has seen the place before. ‘Isn’t this the ‘Dragon’s Resting Ground’?’ It was the dungeon hidden in Mount Baekdu where Cheon had tried to obtain the ‘Dragon’s Heart’,

“D-damn it!” Shinhyuk cursed when he came to a crossroad, and the cave continued to crumble around him.

"Shinhyuk! We're running out of time! We have to go save the guild leader!" Kim Sunyoung, the vice-leader of Valhalla, urged from the side.

“B-but my n-noona!" he tried to argue.

"It’s too late for Ha-eun! The Pseudo Star Organization’s officers are already at the resting ground!”

"That's…" Shinhyuk's eyes shook.

"We have to hurry and get out! The guild leader is alone, holding off both the owl and the seahorse factions!" Sunyoung, who usually led the Valhalla guild with cool judgment and instructions, had devolved into hysterical shouting.

"But… b-but." Shinhyuk’s eyes trembled as he looked down the path toward the resting ground. If he ran to Ha-eun, then maybe… just maybe… even if it was a one in ten thousand chance… Wouldn’t he be able to save her?

Couldn’t he protect her?

"Shinhyuk!" Sunyoung shouted.

Shinhyuk remained stopped in front of the crossroads, unable to move his trembling legs.

Slap–!

His cheeks throbbed with a hot pain.

"Why are you hesitating?" Sunyoung’s eyes blazed in anger. "He’s your younger brother! Your only family!” She grabbed Shinhyuk by the collar and screamed at him. "How much did Woohyuk sacrifice to protect you?! Are you going to betray him now?!"

“…”

"It's because of Ha-eun, right?!" Sunyoung's eyes were filled with contempt. "You know what? Even if you run after her your whole life, Ha-eun will never fall for you."

Stab—

The words pierced Shinhyuk's chest, and he silently opened his mouth, unable to come up with an argument. It was just as she said—even though he’d gone after her dozens of times, Ha-eun had never even looked at him. 

When he borrowed money from Woohyuk and bought her the Dragon’s Cursed Eye, when he threw himself into the gray to save her from the Pseudo Star Organization, and even when he mustered the courage to confess to her…

No matter what he said, no matter what he did, she only had eyes for ‘that’ guy.

'Why… why isn't it me?' He clenched his fists and gritted his teeth. 

Creak—

‘That’ guy, who he didn’t even know the name of, passed through his head. ‘That bastard… even though he abandoned her and joined the Pseudo Star Organization, she can’t stop thinking of him!’ In exchange for them healing his crippled body, ‘that’ guy had become the enemy’s dog and attacked the Guardians.

Of course, even though he’d joined them, he was the lowest of the low ranks without a position, but he was undeniably involved with a worldwide terror organization. Wasn’t Ha-eun only in danger at the moment because she’d left camp to find ‘that’ guy?

‘I…’ He was at a crossroads, both physically and metaphorically. The left led to Ha-eun; the right side led to Woohyuk. ‘I…!’ Shinhyuk forced his eyes shut and took a step to the right. "I'm sorry."

As he raced through the crumbling tunnels, he remembered the first time he’d met Ha-eun and recalled her reddish-brown hair blowing like a flame in the wind. He remembered how she’d hunted monsters without being able to see or use her stigma.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry." He had vowed to protect her, but despite that vow…

"I'm sorry… noona." Shinhyuk ran toward his brother, leaving Ha-eun to fend for herself.

His apology never reached the person it was meant for.

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