I'm Not a Regressor

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I’m Not a Regressor

[Translator – Rainypup ]

[Proofreader – ilafy ]

 

Chapter 230: The Council of the Seven Stars (6)

 

"Wh-what do you think you’re doing, Ohjin?" Namgung Hui’s mouth fell open in surprise. How could he kick the guard through the entrance? It wasn’t like they were at some back alley market; it was a gathering of Seven Star candidates!

"That's what I want to say," Ohjin replied in a cold tone as he glared at Hui. "You’re the one who made him deny me entry, right?"

“What do you mean…?”

"The guard attacked me when I tried to enter and said I wasn’t qualified. He even used his stigma.”

"What?" Hui looked at Ohjin like he thought he was spouting bullshit. He’d ordered the guard to block the entrance on the pretext of time, but he’d never told him to attack. On top of that, the guard had even supposedly used his stigma? 

No matter how unqualified he believed Ohjin to be, there were certain lines you couldn’t cross when it came to a country’s representative candidate. "I never ordered that," Hui firmly stated.

"Is that so? He attacked me and said you ordered it."

"Nonsense!" Hui hit the table and glared at Ohjin. "Do you have any evidence?"

"There's a CCTV camera in the hallway. You can look at the footage," Ohjin said.

"You'll have to take responsibility if you’re lying." Hui gave Ohjin a fierce look and contacted Wei on his phone. Shortly after, Wei came into the conference room and held up a tablet with the footage.

"Play it,” Hui ordered.

"Y-yes.” Wei wiped the sweat on his forehead and hurriedly played the video.

- You can’t enter

They saw a recording of the guard standing in front of the door and swinging his fist at Ohjin. Of course, the telltale blue light of stigma use leaked out of the left side of the bodyguard’s chest.

"No, what is this…?" Hui’s mouth dropped open, and he was at a loss for words. Seeing the bodyguard, who seemed to have taken a large dose of drugs, was enough to make him feel like he’d been hit in the back of the head with a hammer.

-You don’t deserve to breathe the same air as Mr. Namgung Hui!

Hui’s name was clearly mentioned in the video, which even recorded sound.

“…” Silence fell in the conference room.

Ohjin looked back at Hui and spoke in a quiet tone. "Are you still going to claim you had nothing to do with it?”

"I… never gave such an order."

"That's strange. You’re saying the guard did it of his own volition?"

"That's…" Hui struggled to speak.

“I think it’s best to discuss this at a later date.” A woman stood in front of a vivid holographic image that looked to have been created from a relic and calmly said, “Aren’t we here to talk about the competition’s rules and schedule?” Her voice was egregiously clerical.

She pushed up her horn-rimmed glasses and looked over the 28 other Awakeners in the room before calmly speaking as if she had no interest in the commotion. "My name is Olivia, and I am in charge of this Council of the Seven Stars. I normally work as an aide to Mr. Allen Oscal."

After her brief introduction, she stiffly continued with, “Since Ohjin just arrived, I will briefly summarize what was already said.”

The holographic image showed a wide, bird’s-eye view. "This is what the tournament dungeon looks like.”

She used a laser pointer to highlight certain areas of the image as she spoke. "There are several terrain types within the dungeon, including mountain, underwater, and desert terrain. Your starting point will be randomly determined."

28 pillars of light appeared in the hologram. “The rankings will be determined by points. The candidate who gains the most points within the time limit becomes the top scorer. There are two ways to earn points: one is to get rid of a monster within the dungeon and earn points based on its rank.”

"What's the other one?" Ohjin asked,

"The council has recruited ordinary people to hide throughout the dungeon.”

‘Ordinary people?’

"Oh, of course, we have the minimum safety measures in place. You can earn points if you rescue these people and successfully move them to the 'safe zone' in the dungeon. However, in that case, the amount of points you earn depends on how the rescued people evaluate you and is not fixed. You will be tested on whether you deserve to be called ‘humanity’s hope’ by the general public.

Namgung Hui quietly raised his hand. "May I ask a question?"

Olivia nodded.

"What's the difference between points when you catch a monster and points from rescuing people?"

"There isn’t a definitive answer because each monster’s points differ based on rank, but you can earn a huge amount of points in one go if you rescue people and they give you the highest rating.”

"So it’s a question of whether the Awakener goes for the more stable route and hunts monsters or takes a gamble and goes for a big payout through rescues?” Namgung Hui nodded in understanding.

"Exactly," Olivia confirmed.

Ohjin gave Hui a surprised look. ‘I thought he would know about the test in advance.’ Naturally, he’d assumed the council had a connection to it when he saw the schedule was wrong, but that apparently wasn’t the case.

"Do you have any other questions?" Olivia asked.

 

* * *

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Proofreader - ilafy

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A young, blond man with a unique bow on his back that seemed to be made of leaves raised his hand.

“Mr. Orlando Bale, please speak.”

"You said each monster offers points according to its rank, but how many ranks are there?"

"There are a total of five ranks of monsters in the dungeon, and you can see the rank by the color of the necklace around the monster’s neck." The holographic image shone, and five colors appeared: white, green, blue, red, and black. "The lowest rank is white, and black is the highest."

Olivia pointed the laser at the black color. "There's only one black-ranked monster in the dungeon, and… the moment you subjugate this monster, you'll become the top scorer in the competition, regardless of whatever else happens."

"Seriously…?" Orlando’s eyes flashed with interest.

"Yes, but even the Awakeners in this room will find it difficult.”

"Hmmm."

Despite her warning, the candidates’ eyes shone with competitiveness. A monster so powerful a ‘warning’ was given in a competition where everyone, excluding Ohjin, was a high-ranking Awakener was certain to gain interest.

“Hehe. Have you caught a Named or something?” A bald man with a square jaw and sturdy build smiled. Jason Hardy, also known as ‘Iron Fist’ was a talented Awakener and a leading candidate.

"I can't tell you the details."

"Haha! Good! I'm going for that black rank!" Jason clenched his fist as if to threaten the other candidates.

"Any other questions?" Olivia asked.

Nobody raised their hand, so she nodded and turned the holograph off. "We will use a warp device we prepared to teleport you there from the banquet hall on the 100th floor where we held the ceremony. The time limit is six hours. You can rescue as many people as possible and hunt monsters within that time."

‘It’s so simple that it even seems odd,’ Ohjin thought. Regardless, he liked that it wasn’t complicated.

"I'll see you all at the banquet hall at noon. Things will probably be hectic due to the many spectators who want to watch, so please arrive early and be on standby." With that done, Olivia began to head out of the conference room. 

She turned back around just before she reached the door and said, "Oh, and one last thing… Don't forget that you are here to be heroes who will shine a light on the future of humanity."

Then, she left, and an awkward silence fell over the room until…

"Black rank! If I get the black rank, I can join the Seven Stars right away!"

"No, it's safer to go after the other monsters…"

"I think there will be a lot of points if you rescue the civilians properly."

They all began to gather and discuss their strategies, and Hui continued to stare daggers at Ohjin as he gathered with the other Chinese candidates.

‘They’ve completely forgotten about the guard.’ Ohjin smirked as he recalled how the medics had taken the guard. Well, that was good for him. ‘If they’d taken a closer look at the video, they might’ve found out I manipulated it with Mirage.’

He wasn’t acquainted with any of the other candidates, and none of them were from South Korea, so he got up and left the conference room.

“A hero, huh?” Mumbling the word ‘hero’, which was as awkward as chewing sand, Ohjin took the elevator.

* * *

"Have a good trip!" The next day, Ha-eun embraced Ohjin in front of the warp device that would take him to the dungeon and kissed him on the cheek.

"I'll be leaving now," he said.

"Just so you know, you'll have to swim home if you don’t get the top score."

"What do you think this is—some kind of World Cup?"

"It's similar." Ha-eun giggled and patted Ohjin on the shoulder. "I'll be rooting for you, so let's have a party afterward!"

“The competition hasn’t started yet, so don’t exaggerate too much.”

"This is all because I believe in you."

Ohjin smirked.

[My child.] Vega flew up and settled on his head. [Do you not want this lady to go with you?]

"Well, according to regulations, I have to go in alone."

[But aren't we one being?] Vega pouted as if she were dissatisfied.

Ohjin held up his hand to her. "I'll go alone since I don’t want there to be any rumors of unfairness when I win.”

[Fuu. Alright.] Vega sighed and nodded regretfully. [If you come back as a Seven Star, I promise to bless you.]

He nodded and moved toward the warp device.

Whooooong—!

The light from the relic wrapped around his body. ‘It feels different from a gate.’ He supposed it felt more nauseating. Whatever it was, it didn’t feel good.

"Let's see…" He looked down at the silver bracelet on his wrist that the council had given him. The number 0 stood out clearly.

‘Is this the number of points I have now?’ He pressed the red button next to the bracelet.

Whoong—

A hologram created a bird’s-eye view of the dungeon—the same image he’d seen the day before.

"It's like a mini-map." Thankfully, his location was marked with a red dot on the holographic map. It only displayed his location, though, and not any nearby monsters or civilians.

“If I go this way… it’s the mountain area.” Having grasped his approximate location with the holographic map, he slowly moved forward. ‘Let's go to the underwater area for now.’ He had water-friendly skills and the stigma of Hippocampus, which made him good at fighting underwater—an area most Awakeners shied from.

He believed he would be able to monopolize the monsters there.

"Alright."

Clang—!

Using his wire shooter consecutively on high rocks or trees, he swung through the air toward the underwater area. Then…

“Kyaaaaaaa! S-save me!” A piercing scream reverberated through the forest.

____

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