I'm Not a Regressor

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I’m Not a Regressor

[Translator – Rainypup ]

[Proofreader – ilafy ]

 

Chapter 244: Interlude: Left Path

 

“Haa, haa!” Ohjin panted for breath as blood poured from his gaping wound and soaked his clothes. "Ugh." He poured a potion supplied by the Pseudo Star Organization into his wound. “Damn, even over-the-counter pharmacy ointment would work better than this.”

He didn’t even expect much from what they gave to a grunt, and he crawled on the floor as he searched the pockets of a dead member who’d had his head split apart by someone from Valhalla.

“At least this bastard’s potion is a little useful.” Ohjin poured another potion on his wound and leaned against the cave wall. “It’s… already been half a year.” That much time had passed since he left Ha-eun and became a member of the Pseudo Star Organization.

During that time, unbearable loneliness weighed on him because he could not see her face or hear her voice. ‘A little more… just a little more.’ He gripped the left side of his chest as the potion healed him until he could move freely.

His chest didn’t have a ‘stigma’ that could be said to be the symbol of Awakening. ‘The fake stigma of Aquarius that I engraved disappeared during the treatment process.’ He felt smooth skin at his fingertips. “After I become an Awakener… I’ll definitely come back to you, Ha-eun.” With his back still against the cave wall, he swore a silent oath.

Though he was living as a meat shield because he didn’t have a stigma, once he Awakened and made some achievements, he would be able to enter the Moon Palace—the place where the Pseudo Star Organization kept their precious relics.

‘I need to make a big hit there and run for it.’ Although it was nearly impossible for him, a grunt, to approach the Moon Palace, he had a plan in mind. 'Cheon Doyoon… no, if only I could deceive the 'snake' who is manipulating him.'

Hadn’t he spent his whole life scamming others? He was quite confident in being able to deceive people. "Well, I don't know if Ha-eun will accept it, even if I go back shamelessly now." Ohjin smiled sadly and clasped his fist. It had been half a year, but he still remembered the day he’d left her with a single parting sentence and asked someone to look after her.

“…” The memory made it feel like someone was digging into his heart with a knife, but he didn’t regret his choice. Even if he went back, he would probably make the same choice. 'At least… I don't want to disturb her.' 

He hadn’t wanted to be the ‘dirt’ that smeared Ha-eun’s brilliantly-shining life after she became a member of the Valhalla guild and was even selected as a member of Guardian. He’d left and only parted with a letter asking Shinhyuk to care for her. He hadn’t even said goodbye.

"Let's get moving." Seeing that his wound had stopped bleeding, Ohjin slowly rose to his feet. 'Everyone must have escaped by now.' During the skirmish with the Valhalla guild, he had deliberately leaked information that the officers of the Pseudo Star Organization were in the resting ground.

They must’ve been well-aware of the monstrous power of the Executors, who were given power by the "Snake," so they would have escaped immediately after hearing the news. 'There are some troops there, too.' With Lee Shinhyuk, Lee Woohyuk, and Ha-eun, they would have enough power to take them down.

“Upsy-daisy.” Ohjin staggered toward the inner cavity, assuming that, by then, the Executors of Pseudo Star Organization had taken the ‘Dragon’s Heart’ and left the dungeon. 'Let's check if there's anything I can grab before I go.' For him, who didn’t even have a stigma, even little crumbs left from the ‘Dragon’s Heart’ would be useful.

He crossed the rubble and reached the inner cavity. "Wow." The massive cavern was filled with blue crystals. He couldn’t feel mana properly yet, but he instinctively felt in his guts that there was something tremendously powerful there.

"I think I can really find something useful." His eyes shone as he looked around and saw something strange. "…Did it melt?" The floor and walls were blackened and charred, as if they’d been set on fire.

He followed the trail until he saw a bunch of red threads in the rubble. "This is…" It wasn’t red thread—it was hair. "Huh?" An eerie shudder ran down his spine. "N-no. Ha-eun went outside." Erasing the ominous thought that came to mind, Ohjin removed the crystal debris.

Every time debris was removed, what was beneath gradually revealed itself—blood-soaked clothes and a woman with hair redder than blood.

“H-huh…?” He saw a terrifying corpse with its left eye dug out. Half of its face was missing, but the body was all too easy to recognize. "Ha… eun…?"

‘Why…?’

‘Why…?’

‘Why…?’

‘Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?Why?’

"Why is she… here…?” His breath shook, and his trembling hands reached for the body under the rubble. "No…" It couldn’t be Ha-eun. It shouldn't be Ha-eun. “I… told you that there’s an Executor in the resting ground.”

With that information, Ha-eun should not have gone there. There was no reason for her to have gone there. "I…! told you…! I let you know! Why…?" If she tried to enter the inner cavity alone, someone should have stepped up and stopped her—he had already asked someone to play the role on his behalf.

So… Why…?

“You said… You said… You said you would protect her! You promised!”

 

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Translator - Rainypup

Proofreader - ilafy

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Ohjin trembled and embraced her body, which was still warm. He painfully felt the fading warmth as death claimed its prize. “Ha-eun… Ha-eun… Ha-eun… Ha-eun…” It was odd… He was so sad and felt that his heart was being ripped apart, but there were no tears.

"You're not dead, are you?" he asked. The whole world felt like a huge theater and turned gray like a black-and-white movie. Nothing felt real. "Ha, ha, ha, right? Ha-eun…" Yes. In fact, his whole life was just one big play.

The director of the orphanage, who’d tormented him terribly, and Lee Shinhyuk, who’d taken away his hope… All played a part in the tragedy, and he imagined her coming out at the end and saying, “Ta-da! Thank you for watching~!”

"Please… please tell me you're lying, huh?" Why wasn’t the damned play coming to an end?

Krrk–

Intense pain surged through the left side of his chest.

“Ugh!” 

A clear bell rang out in his ear through the pain.

Ti-ring!

[The Black Heaven’s first awakening is starting!]

[The Black Heaven is absorbing the stigma of Draco!]

“…Black Heaven?” Ohjin frowned, but that was only for a moment.

Krrrrk—!

A dark cloud stretched out from the palm of his hand and covered the left side of Ha-eun's chest; energy he felt for the first time in his life flowed into his body through the dark clouds. It was the mana from the stigma of Draco that Ha-eun originally possessed.

“N-no.” He reached for the dark cloud, which was greedily eating away at the stigma. The mana that he had been longing for was filling his body. “Don’t… eat it!”

It was Ha-eun's…

It must be Ha-eun's…

Otherwise…

"Don't eat it, don't… you punk!" He batted at the dark clouds with his hand, and they scattered like smoke before gathering in one place again and continuing to absorb Ha-eun’s mana. "Please… stop! Please!" He screamed. The dark clouds of the Black Heaven devoured Ha-eun's mana without a care in the world.

"Stop, stop, stop. I told you to stop, you fucking bastard!!" Her mana flowed into him, and any remaining warmth in her body completely vanished as her limbs went stiff with rigor mortis.

Ti-ring!

[You have successfully absorbed the stigma of Draco!]

[The Stigma of Draco has been designated as your main stigma.]

Fsshhhh—

Hot pain, as if he were being burned by a hot iron, shot through the left side of his chest. “Ah." He felt his chest with trembling hands and traced the stigma of Draco there with his fingertips. "Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” The world was falling apart—crushed, ruined, and rotten.

-Fwoosh! 

The fire burned and wound around his body. The flame was familiar to him, and he saw Ha-eun’s face beyond the blazing fire. "Ha-eun…" He faintly touched the flame, scattering the image of her face like smoke.

“…” His eyes lost their light, and he gave her body an empty look.

Then, he heard someone’s voice. "Hmm, what? There are people left?"

"I think he's here to get something, like us."

"Oh, isn't that him? You know, there's that woman in Guardian… That's her ‘brother’."

"You’re right." The voices sounded awkward to him—like they were clumsy actors reciting a script.

"…Ha, haha." A dry laugh left Ohjin’s mouth. Right, it was natural that their voices sounded awkward. "This is all… a lie." He knew the truth: the world was a finely-crafted stage. He slowly stood.

Fwoosh—!

A hot fire, like a dragon's breath, wrapped around him.

"What? Didn't that bastard not have a stigma?”

"Did he get a relic somewhere?"

“Hehe, that’s great.”

The Pseudo Star Organization members approached with big smiles across their faces.

Ohjin returned a similar smile. "Yes…" If life was all a play… "We have to put an end to it." Blue flames flared up in his eyes as he raised his head. Soon after, terrible screams and a blistering smoke carrying the odor of burning flesh filled the cavern.

What might the future have held if the hero who killed the Heavenly Demon after many hardships and adversities kept his promise?

What could have been…

If Shinhyuk chose the left path instead?

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