The Novel is Extra Chapter 288: Society of Dead Humanoid Monsters 1
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Chapter 288. Society of Dead Humanoid Monsters (1)
“What are you doing here—”
Cheok Jungyeong’s words resounded with heavy pressure. Kim Suho and Jin Sahyuk stared at Cheok Jungyeong in vein-squeezing tension.
Cheok Jungyeong pointed at Kim Suho, then at Jin Sahyuk.
He pretended not to have seen Rumi.
“I’ve seen you in the Tower, and you….” Cheok Jungyeong continued with a sigh, “You managed to escape.”
“…So?” Jin Sahyuk answered. Her usually dignified manner was nowhere to be seen as she was trembling slightly. It wasn’t that she was afraid. It was purely because the man standing in front of her was tricky to deal with.
Jin Sahyuk had fought with Cheok Jungyeong before and realized that he had reached absolute perfection physically.
The way he destroyed her manipulated realities with nothing but raw power was surreal. He reminded her of Kim Hajin, but he was slightly different as well.
“You lot are from that fortress, right?” Cheok Jungyeong asked Kim Suho.
Kim Suho nodded and replied, “Yes.”
“…But not this one, right?” Cheok Jungyeong pointed at Jin Sahyuk with his chin, and Kim Suho shook his head in response.
“No, she’s also one of us.”
“Pft.” Cheok Jungyeong let out a snort. “Funny. I beat her up not long ago and locked her in a cell.”
Hearing this, the startled Kim Suho glanced at Jin Sahyuk.
“Is he telling the truth?”
“….” Jin Sahyuk didn’t answer, but her furrowed brows were enough of an answer.
“If Boss was here, she would have beat her to a pulp and cut off her limbs….”
Cheok Jungyeong stared at Jin Sahyuk and grinned. He didn’t discriminate based on gender or wealth. He only treated people differently based on their age. Only the young and the old were saved from being his targets.
“…But there’s no reason to fight you now. It’s not the right place, and we’re allied with you lot from the fortress anyways.”
Cheok Jungyeong was uncharacteristically cold and rational. He didn’t want to start a fight like he always did.
Rumi stared at Cheok Jungyeong with a sad look.
“I’ll let you go this time, Jin Sahyuk.”
Cheok Jungyeong remembered Jin Sahyuk’s name. It meant he acknowledged her strength.
Of course, Jin Sahyuk didn’t know this side of Cheok Jungyeong and contemplated attacking him to regain her dignity. Thankfully, Rumi grabbed her arm and stopped her.
“He’s letting us go. Let’s leave.”
Jin Sahyuk sighed reluctantly. But as they were about to leave, she suddenly remembered something and stopped Cheok Jungyeong.
“Oh right, oi!”
Cheok Jungyeong looked back at her quietly. Lit under the moonlight, Cheok Jungyeong’s eyes flashed with chilling killing intent. Most people’s heart would have skipped a beat in terror, but Jin Sahyuk maintained her composure.
“…I just want to know something. Are your friends here too?”
“I’m talking about Black Lotus.”
Jin Sahyuk knew a secret that only the members of the Chameleon Troupe were aware of – the identity of Black Lotus.
Cheok Jungyeong didn’t immediately answer. It was then.
The wind blew along with the sound of batting wings. Everyone immediately looked up at the sky.
A humanoid monster was flapping his wings in the air. Soon, it descended between them.
A heavy thud resounded.
Kim Suho instantly realized that the humanoid monster was with the ‘police’. It wasn’t all that hard considering he was wearing a police uniform.
The humanoid monster shrugged his shoulders as he approached the group. Everyone’s expressions stiffened as they stared at the unexpected guest, and the humanoid monster glanced at the humans present.
In this moment of tension, Kim Suho wondered if he should attack the humanoid monster. He couldn’t feel any other presences nearby or any watchful eyes. If the humanoid monster suspected them even a little bit, he was determined to cut him down immediately.
As Kim Suho carefully put his hand on Misteltein…
“From 1 a.m. to 6 a.m., only humanoid monsters may stay outside. Humans are prohibited. There are 10 minutes left, so hurry back. If you’re found after 10 minutes, you will be punished.” The humanoid monster spoke. That was it.
The humanoid monster flapped his wings and flew up.
Kim Suho and his group stared at him in a daze, and Cheok Jungyeong smirked.
“Strange, isn’t it? Most humanoid monsters are like that. Unless they’re unusually picky, they won’t even check your identity. Maybe it’s because there are too many people living here.”
Cheok Jungyeong murmured. At that moment, a voice rang out in Kim Suho’s head.
[Hey, where are you!? It’s an emergency!]
It was a message from Chae Nayun.
Before Kim Suho could reply, the voice became louder.
Kim Suho quickly answered, wanting to spare his ears.
[Answer quicker! I’ll give you our coordinates so come here immediately. We’re together with residents who escaped the brainwash.]
[There are people here who are no longer brainwashed!]
Kim Suho’s eyes widened.
[Hurry over here with Rumi. Lose that crazy bitch.]
Chae Nayun sent him her location, and Kim Suho quickly entered the coordinates into his smartwatch. She was about 20 minutes north.
“…Did something happen?” Rumi asked, seeing Kim Suho’s sudden change in expression. Kim Suho stared at Rumi, Jin Sahyuk, then Cheok Jungyeong silently.
Although Chae Nayun said to ditch Jin Sahyuk…
“Something urgent came up with the other team. Follow me.”
The set of coordinates Chae Nayun sent led to a grocery store. It was neither new nor old and was a typical 1-floor store.
Kim Suho walked inside with a quizzical look.
The automatic door opened, and three human employees and one humanoid monster stared at Kim Suho at the same time.
Before Kim Suho could say anything, a puppy-like humanoid monster hopped over and asked.
“Are you with Jin Seyeon-nim?”
“Ah, yes, I am. They are too.”
Kim Suho pointed at Cheok Jungyeong, Jin Sahyuk, and Rumi.
The four of them followed the humanoid monster.
Wag, wag— After a few minutes of staring at his wagging tail, the group arrived at a secret passageway.
“Go in. Your friends are inside.”
The secret passageway was a manhole hidden under a shelf. A ladder to an underground area could be seen.
Kim Suho and the others stared at each other before taking the ladder down one by one.
“Are you sure this isn’t a trap?”
Cheok Jungyeong asked once they arrived downstairs. They found themselves in an empty, dark room with nothing inside. While they were standing around confused, the wall in front of them suddenly moved left and right, revealing a new room.
Beyond the wall was a scene no one expected to see.
The smell of rice and magic power flowed out, people swinging swords and spears on dummies could be seen, and dozens of houses were lined up along the huge training ground.
Chae Nayun was standing in the middle with a smile.
“Uh… w-where are we?”
Kim Suho was at a loss of words.
“We’re at the Resistance Village. People who escaped brainwashing secretly built this place underground….”
Cheok Jungyeong walked past Kim Suho and Chae Nayun and stood in the middle of the underground village.
“Now this is interesting… Oi.”
Then, he shared his vision with Kim Hajin who should be watching from a distance.
“Can you see it?”
Kim Hajin’s voice returned.
—Yes, I can. Looks like there are about 300 people. They’re mostly Heroes from what I can see. Continue looking around.
Muffled whispers then reached Cheok Jungyeong, who was communicating with Kim Hajin.
“…Isn’t he a humanoid monster? He has to be, right? There’s no way a human can have a body like that. He must be an ogre humanoid monster.”
The residents seemed to be taken aback by his dignified stature. Cheok Jungyeong grinned and announced, “I’m human! One that crushes humanoid monsters—”
Hearing Cheok Jungyeong’s voice, Jin Seyeon came out of the village hall with a blonde man.
Jin Seyeon’s eyes widened when she saw Cheok Jungyeong.
“…Oh~ It’s been a while, Jin Seyeon~”
The corners of Cheok Jungyeong’s mouth curled up.
Jin Seyeon was taken aback by the unexpected encounter, but she soon nodded with a smile.
“Yes, it has. You’re our ally, correct?”
“I wouldn’t say ally. Temporary comrade is more like it.”
“Mm, that’s perfect.”
With that, Jin Seyeon called Kim Suho’s group over.
“This is the ‘Resistance Village’. Ellio-ssi found us scouting the village upstairs and brought us here.” Jin Seyeon began to explain. She pointed at the blonde man standing next to her.
“Ellio-ssi, please introduce yourself.”
Ellio was a handsome, white Latino man.
“Hello, I’m Spain’s high-rank Hero, Ellio. I’m leading the ‘Underground Resistance’ in this place. It’s an honor to meet you, Kim Suho-ssi and….”
Ellio looked up at Cheok Jungyeong. His towering height and intimidating face made him look like a tyrant.
Cheok Jungyeong spoke, “I’m Cheok Jungyeong.”
“…Pardon? Cheok Jungyeong?”
Ellio’s eyes widened. Cheok Jungyeong gave a small smile.
“Haha, you know my name?”
“Of course, Korean history and history of Heroes are required courses….”
“Hahaha, right, that’s me! I’m Cheok—”
—Don’t get overexcited. You’re not going to talk about your past life, are you?
As Cheok Jungyeong was laughing happily, Kim Hajin calmed him down. Cheok Jungyeong frowned and closed his mouth.
—You became a better listener. I like it.
“…What’d you say?”
“Are you talking with Black Lotus right now?”
Jin Seyeon easily noticed that something was off.
Cheok Jungyeong flinched slightly.
“What? Black Lotus?”
“Ha, I knew you unfair cowards wouldn’t be walking around alone.”
Chae Nayun’s eyes widened and Jin Sahyuk grumbled. Jin Sahyuk still remembered the 2 on 1 fight she had to endure.
—Ah, they found out because of you. Damn it.
“Why is this my fault?”
—Just make something up.
Facing everyone’s looks, Cheok Jungyeong sighed.
“You bastard… what am I supposed to say in this situation?”
…One hour later, Kim Suho’s group and Cheok Jungyeong sat down inside the village hall. Ellio explained how the Resistance Village came to be.
“At first, we believed we were born here and had no doubts doing our daily tasks. But Yurang-ssi helped undo the brainwashing we suffered.”
“Yurang-ssi… Is that the humanoid monster we met?”
Ellio nodded at Kim Suho’s question.
“Yes, Yurang-ssi was assigned as the manager of this grocery store. He’s very supportive of humans. In fact… we don’t call him a humanoid monster.”
At that moment, Cheok Jungyeong stealthily looked back at Rumi, who was paying attention to Ellio’s explanation.
“With Yurang-ssi’s help, we were able to help many people regain their memories. But because one had to have trained in magic power to use Yurang-ssi’s method, we only awakened Heroes mid-rank or higher.”
Jin Sahyuk, on the other hand, looked around the village hall, only half-listening to Ellio. She was looking for Bell, but Bell was nowhere to be seen.
“…So how did you make this village? The houses here are no different from some of the buildings in Seoul.” Kim Suho asked.
Ellio nodded with a smile.
“That’s a good question. You see, we used ‘DP’ to build this town. In other words, we received help from a demon merchant.”
“Yes, there is a Dungeon nearby. Inside it are demonic beasts we can hunt for DP. It wouldn’t be wrong to say this village was created by a demon merchant. He agreed to help us with any trades that don't involve escaping.”
Jin Seyeon asked, “What is your plan now?”
Ellio fell silent.
He looked around the room and took a deep breath before answering.
“To assassinate Tigris, one of Orden’s four Great Generals.”
Ellio’s voice struck heavily.
Just as Kim Suho was about to say something…
—Captain! Demonic beasts are running wild!
A loud voice rang out from outside. Everyone other than Jin Sahyuk immediately shot up and ran outside.
“The Dungeon is this way. Follow me!”
Next day, 10 a.m.
I came out to Lupiton with Boss. The village of humanoid monsters and humans was bustling with activity. However, humans were the only ones who were busy.
From what I found out yesterday, Orden’s villages had a clear hierarchical structure. Even humans were divided from rank-1 to rank-3. Of course, even a rank-1 human couldn’t compare to a rank-6 humanoid monster in authority.
Lupiton’s humanoid monsters were ‘nobles’ whose job was to oversee humans, and humans were akin to peasants or slaves.
“There are restaurants, cafés, and even a bowling alley.”
“Right, how interesting.”
Humans were tasked with all sorts of different jobs. Some harvested crops, some mined ores at a nearby mine, some worked as chefs, some sold smartwatches developed by humanoid monsters, and more.
The brainwashed citizens were living in the village as if it were perfectly natural.
“Hajin, it’s immediate judgment.”
Boss pointed at the distance. The moment I turned my gaze… Crack! A humanoid monster resembling a crocodile chopped off a human’s head.
Humanoid monsters who were delegated the role of ‘manager’ by the village lord could hand out immediate judgment to humans. The judgment, unsurprisingly, was death.
“This is kind of what I expected from them, but not so much at the same time.”
At that moment, Jain sent a message.
[Hajin, I finished collecting premians~ What should I do now~?]
Jain was currently acting as the dictator of Crean. Disguised as Tenzuhar with her Gift, Jain had ordered Tenzuhar’s servants to gather gems and ores from the deepest parts of the mine.
[Come to Lupiton.]
Jain had to see and make physical contact with a target to use her Gift of Disguise. Since Lupiton had many high-ranking humanoid monsters, it was the perfect opportunity for her to disguise as a humanoid monster with a higher authority than Tenzuhar.
[Okay~ I’ll be there as soon as I can~]
“Slurp. What will we do now, Boss? Slurp.”
Tenzuhar asked. He had grown used to calling me Boss before I realized.
“Jungyeong wants to kill Tigris, but….”
Tigris. Tenzuhar’s expression paled the moment he heard this name.
“D-Duke Tigris? Slurp.”
“Yeah, have you seen him before?”
“N-No, not at all. He’ll kill me if I do. Slurp, slurp, slurp.”
Tenzuhar became tongue-tied for a moment. I put my hand in his mouth and untied it myself.
“Keheuk. T-Thank you, slurp.”
In truth, I was curious about Tigris. He had caused a mess in China and escaped unharmed. Although the rumors said he was stronger than Chae Joochul… I would have to see him personally before making any judgment.
“Boss, let’s deal with the village lord first.”
“Yes, we’ll take over this city just like we did in Crean.”
This was the reason I called Jain in the first place.
Her Gift was perfect for victory without bloodshed.
“Are you acquainted with Pleron?”
Slurp, slurp, slurp.
I waited patiently at first, but I frowned when his slurping noises got annoying.
“You don’t want to talk?”
“Slurp… You see… we… we have a senior-junior relationship.”
“Senior-junior relationship? What’s that?’
Tenzuhar scratched his head and mumbled in embarrassment.
“Slurp. In the Humanoid Monster Academy, Pleron was my junior and I was his senior.”
Boss and I both became speechless.
“Slurp… But genetic differences are impossible to overcome, slurp. Although I was a rank-1 humanoid monster in the theory part of tests, Pleron, whose origin is a mythical snow-bird monster, quickly began to shoot ahead, slurp.”
Tenzuhar seemed embarrassed that his junior surpassed him, but we didn’t care about that at all.
There was one thing that he said that caught our attention.
“What the hell do you mean by the academy?”
It was the term, ‘Humanoid Monster Academy’.
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