The World after the Fall - Chapter 27[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:15:44]
Chapter 27: Dead man (2)
Mino thought that everyone around her had met a bad fate since her days in the Tower of Nightmares. In fact, her nickname, ‘Witch of Massacre’, wasn’t something she actually acquired in <Chaos>.
When she was in the Tower of Nightmares, the first party she joined was attacked by monsters and was wiped out. She was the only survivor of the group. The people back then considered her to be ‘lucky’.
Mino felt strange. She felt like it was some kind of premonition.
It was only after the second and third party were wiped out that she knew for certain. She had survived all alone, again. People now were suspicious and began to wonder. After similar happenings occurred a few more times, people began to be wary of her and stayed far away.
-Is she the ‘Witch of Massacre?’
The witch who brought the monsters. The cursed woman who killed all her party members. People shunned and abandoned her. The abandoned 16-year-old girl… that was Mino. Mino later found out that her bad luck was her passive skill.
High-grade skill [Lure]
It was the sole hidden skill in her Tower of Nightmares. Mino still thought of the day of the clearing; about what might have happened if she did not have Claire and her other friends with her. When everyone shunned her and she faced clearing the tower alone, they were the ones who came to save her from the danger.
That was why Mino still trusted humans.
Even if there were terrible things in the world, even if the world was filled with evil people, there were still some good people. Some were not strong or did not have talent, but they would still willingly die for others.
Mino survived because of them.
She tried hard to become strong and survive. If she was cursed and brought misfortune to others, she needed to be stronger than the curse. Thus, she joined the Dark Forest clan. To learn powerful assassination skills and gain spiritual power. The result was in front of her.
[Girl, don’t hesitate if you’ve come this far.]
Claire was biting her lip hard. Her face was bruised and bleeding.
[Being weak doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to choose death.]
Mino became saddened.
[Hang in there, Auntie. I’ll save you.]
Claire smiled bitterly. She and Mino both knew that it was impossible, but Mino couldn’t give up. She glanced around. The situation was worse than expected. There were more than ten 3rd stage Adapters. The man in the center was even more powerful than what Mino could measure. They were much stronger than those Red Fox members.
There were not many organizations that had the ability to mobilize groups with these kinds of people within Gorgon Fortress. It was either the Ten-Clan or someone with power. There were only two from the Ten-Clan within the Fortress.
The Fire King Clan led by Kanghwang and the Arms Extreme Clan led by Shin Mukuk.
But these people didn’t seem to be related to either of those clans. Kanghwang was known for his freedom and Mukuk was known for his noble manners. Both would not allow themselves to do such dirty work. Besides, some of these men were comprised of assassination targets that she had been assigned to before.
Desert Serpent was a 3rd stage Adapter who hunted down newcomers in the desert region, east of <Chaos>. He hid his face with a mask but his cross-shaped scar on his eyes was not something he could cover. She couldn’t find him before and had to give up on the request, but here he was.
‘Wait… all of them…’
She belatedly realized that these people were wanted fugitives and understood who they were. There was only one clan that could unite those criminals and use them.
Golden Sky Clan.
It was a clan made of ruffians and criminals, but the clan had become powerful. They accepted criminals that were shunned by the other clans. Someone among them walked up.
“You must be out of your mind, witch.”
Mino felt a shiver run down her spine.
‘4th stage Adapter…!’
And there was more than one. The two behind him were also close to the 4th stage. 4th stage Adapters were so powerful that three of them could even handle a grown pentahorn, or a Garnak. Mino knew their names. A 4th stage Adapter was so rare that their names were usually known within <Chaos>.
“The Jan brothers…”
They were infamous around this region. They were high stage Adapters never joined a clan… until now.
“Why didn’t bring him? Was it not part of the deal?”
“Did you hear the witch make the promise?”
“The stone belongs to us.”
“That sounds persuasive.”
“We were trading with the Greens. The man intercepted it.”
Mino narrowed her eyes.
“Then why don’t you confront him yourself to get it back, or send a help request to the Fortress? Why go about it the hard way?”
Janya could not answer. Mino scoffed.
“It’s not too late. Bring him here.”
“What if I don’t want to?”
“Then you will die.”
Mino did not answer and Janya’s eyes were filled with anger. At that moment, the 2nd brother, Janmyung, came out.
“I heard the women of Dark Forest are one of a kind! I’ve always wanted to have a taste.”
“So, you do know that I’m from Dark Forest.”
“Of course, I do.”
“And you want to try and do that still?”
Mino pretended she was confident even when she felt every inch of her skin crawling.
“You guys think your clan is something just because you came up to the Ten-Clan level, but you will regret it. Dark Forest isn’t that easy.”
In fact, she had already notified the nearest Dark Forest station. But it would take them at least an hour to arrive and she had no way of dragging out the time. Suddenly, the third brother, Janmang, laughed.
“You think we are fools?”
“We know there is no Dark Forest branch within Gorgon Fortress. You will lie naked before they even come here.”
“…You will be hunted by Dark Forest.”
“That’s for our clan master to deal with.”
Janya flicked his finger and all of the Golden Sky members cornered Mino.
“Enough. We cannot waste any more time.”
Mino bit her lip.
The Jan brothers’ specialty lied in the [Shadow] skill. It was the leaked version from the renowned family, Black Spirit, and while it did not match theirs, it was still very powerful. However, Mino’s skill did not fall far behind. Seven daggers floated behind her.
High-grade skill [Seven Daggers of Akaram].
It was what she had inherited from the clan master of the Dark Forest clan. It was said that the skill was given by a [Nightmare] and was proven to be very powerful.
“Haha! So, the witch knows how to fight!”
The Jan brothers left images as they moved through the shadows and swung the hidden blades at Mino. Mino’s robes were cut as her white skin was revealed. Her right arm was left with a long cut.
“It will be fun to strip you naked!”
She managed to kill two 3rd stage Adapters, but there were still a lot of enemies. And the Jan brothers attacking from her blind spots was troubling.
‘If only this was outside the fortress…’
Outside fortress, she could use her [Lure] skill and she might have been able to bring in monsters to fight in the chaos, but this was inside. She sent out a few daggers imbued with spiritual power and made a side of the roof explode. The hole was big enough for everyone around to hear what was happening inside.
“You think you’re smart?”
“It’s no use. We already laid silence magic around this area.”
Her last trick didn’t work. It was obvious that they had someone who could use silence magic if they had come in with this crowd of people. They might have even bribed the guards.
“You were called the ‘massacre’ during hunts, but what about now?”
Janmyung’s sword cut the side of Mino’s thigh. It was a deep wound.
“What about ‘naked’, Brother?”
Janmang laughed as he saw Mino’s clothes torn off from her shoulder.
This was not a fight.
Some of them were now touching the other female employees of the saloon. They knew they didn’t have to fight.
She had to send a message to tell the Dark Forest Clan to hurry. The criminals of Golden Sky were now shaking the already fainted Claire by yanking her hair.
“It’s not too late yet. Bring him here before that old hag dies.”
Mino’s patience broke at the pitiful state Claire was in.
[Seven Daggers of Akaram] Final skill, Frozen Blades.
The seven blades released a freeze with the Spirit Power that filled them. The storm covered all of them. Janmyung and Janmang were left with some wounds.
The one who stopped the skill outright was Janya.
“I will rip you apart myself.”
Mino felt her legs losing strength as her Spirit Power was now close to zero. She could barely hold onto a pillar to keep herself from kneeling. She saw Janya walking closer and thought, ‘Is there no salvation in this world?’
It was a world filled with criminals. Even if there were some good ones, if those criminals stood on top, then that world was hell. The humans that Jaehwan spoke of, the humans Mino spoke of, would all be left to die by those criminals.
Mino closed her eyes as she saw his blade. For the first time, she thought she wanted to go back to the past. What if she had followed him at the fork in the road? She might have been able to watch the world fall, and later tell the others about it. Mino became jealous of herself in her imagination.
However, she knew that there wasn’t that kind of future. She would never meet with Jaehwan now.
After a moment, she realized something was wrong. She did not feel the cold blade on her. The surrounding air seemed to be still. She knew this feeling.
She opened her eyes and saw the Jan brothers staring weirdly in her direction. She knew that look.
She thought she hated this cliché and felt her legs finally give way. Someone kept her from falling down. The hands were rough but warm. He was tough but reassuring. Mino looked up and saw the man’s face.
“…Weren’t you going to destroy the world?”
Jaehwan then held up a bag. It was the bag that contained the clothes that Mino bought for him.
“They’re the wrong size.”