Chapter 4: Yuri (Revised)
Yuri was sprawled on the floor, squinting his eyes open, assessing the situation.
“Damn, it’s so tough, I’m dying here…”
“Stop whining, little brother.”
As heard from outside, there were two voices. Two sets of feet were visible. One of the guys was dragging his leg as if he was injured.
It was a stroke of luck that Yuri noticed this. At the point when Yuri was dying from a stab wound, that bastard had been completely unharmed.
“So, what about the check? How are we going to do it?”
“Stab the corpses again with a knife. If no one screams, they’re all dead. Is that so hard?”
“Damn, I’m telling you they’re all dead. Why do we need to check further?”
The one dragging his feet was the younger brother. He grumbled and moved as told. Thud! A knife stabbed into a corpse lying near the door.
‘F**k, I’m screwed.’
Why the hell are they doing a confirmation kill? Yuri, lying flat on his stomach, was sweating profusely.
“Big brother, should we stab our guys too?”
“Of course, we have to. Little brother, we weren’t exactly good brothers, were we? If we don’t want to taste revenge later, make sure to stab them properly.”
As the corpses at the entrance were equally stabbed one by one, Yuri had a moment of short contemplation. If he stayed like this, he would be stabbed and die. If he dies in this body, does he return to his original world?
He knew the answer. Dying in this body wouldn’t mean returning to his original world.
‘You just die if you die!’
That damn Lorelia had said so with a crisp smile.
Naturally, Yuri did not want to die.
Thuk! The knife, coming from the entrance, stabbed a nearby corpse. Glancing over, it was Jangsam.
“Ah, son of a bitch, why is it so tough?”
The younger brother, who had dragged his feet over, was right nearby. Yuri couldn’t hesitate any longer. Although the knife was currently stuck in Jangsam’s back, next it might be Yuri’s turn.
Maybe with a bit more luck, it would be the next turn, but if he stayed as he was, he would scream from being stabbed and then get stabbed a few more times and die.
What he needed right now was just determination.
He grabbed the approaching foot and slashed at the ankle with a knife.
The guy didn’t expect a bloody corpse to suddenly slash his ankle, his imagination wasn’t that vivid.
“Aaaaah! Fuck! What the?!”
He was already injured in the other leg from the previous fight, and now, out of nowhere, his good ankle was slashed. The position and depth of the cut were bad. He couldn’t keep his balance and fell to the floor.
Yuri, who quickly stood up, held a dagger in front and cautiously stepped back.
Only then he could see the faces of the brothers who had entered the office.
The Oh brothers.
Recently arrived foreigners from the East in the back alleys, they were gathering a few bad delinquents, slowly forming a gang. They had started to encroach on the Black Snake Faction’s territory, leading to several conflicts.
Cruel and dangerous people. Yuri had occasionally seen the Oh brothers on the streets, but he had never properly made eye contact with them.
“Aaargh! My leg!”
The younger brother, Oh Bong-seok, was howling in pain, clutching his bleeding ankle, while the older brother, Oh Bong-chun, just stood there, glaring at Yuri.
Oh Bong-chun didn’t rush in despite his brother’s injury, partly because he was quite cautious, but also because their brotherly love wasn’t exactly warm.
“Hey kid, who are you?”
Oh Bong-chun, like his brother, was bloody, but he didn’t seem to have any serious injuries. He drew a hatchet from his waist and grinned, revealing yellow teeth.
“It’s strange… These guys here. They’re either dead, or even if they’re lucky enough not to be dead, they shouldn’t be as fine as you.”
“Big brother, fuck! My, my ankle!”
Oh Bong-seok was howling in pain, but Oh Bong-chun didn’t even glance at his brother. He narrowed his slit-like eyes further and scrutinized Yuri.
“What are you? You’re not one of mine, so you must be from the Black Snake Faction. But why don’t you have a single injury? Huh? Where were you hiding?”
What should I answer? Or do I even need to? Yuri simply kept his mouth shut.
Oh Bong-seok couldn’t stand up right away. The only one Yuri had to deal with now was Oh Bong-chun.
“Are you scared, kid?”
Oh Bong-chun smirked and asked the silent Yuri. It was an obvious provocation, but Yuri didn’t take the bait. The situation was too tense to bother with such provocations. He could die within 10 minutes of being possessed.
Thump, thump, thump… His heart was pounding as if it would burst. He was overly conscious of the dagger in his right hand.
Lee Soo-hyuk had never swung a knife at a person before.
But Yuri was different. This bastard had often threatened others with a knife and even stabbed people. However, those memories didn’t help much in resolving the current situation.
The dagger in his hand felt too awkward. Yuri let out a short sigh and dropped the dagger to the ground.
Oh Bong-chun’s eyes widened.
“Don’t tell me you’re throwing away your knife to surrender? Kid, even though I’m this stupid’s brother, do you think I would spare someone who crippled my brother for life?”
Still, Yuri didn’t answer.
Instead, he clenched his fists and raised them up.
“Is this guy crazy?”
Oh Bong-chun burst into laughter. It was incomprehensible that Yuri had discarded a perfectly good knife, and now he was doing something that didn’t even look like begging for his life.
“What are you going to do with those hands? Are you some kind of martial arts master? Going to smash this axe with your fists?”
Yuri ignored the mockery.
Truthfully, he wanted to pick up the dagger. Facing an axe with bare hands seemed impossible.
But he had no choice.
The old Yuri knew a bit about using a knife.
But the current Yuri was much more accustomed to using his bare hands.
He had learned how to fight with his fists through actual combat.
“You think I’m a f**king joke?!”
With a furious shout, Oh Bong-chun charged.
Of course, his movements were nothing compared to Lorelia’s.
The axe was coming at him. Just a few seconds ago, he thought it was impossible to face an axe with bare hands, but now that he saw the axe flying towards him, he thought differently.
He understood why Lorelia emphasized not hesitating, not fearing, and striking with the intent to kill when facing a living person with full force and accuracy.
That’s exactly what he needed right now.
The bloodied axe grazed him, barely missing by a hair’s breadth. He dove in at that narrow gap and swung his fist.
The moment he swung, he knew. This could kill Oh Bong-chun. But if he didn’t strike, he would die.
So, he struck. There was no reason not to.
He felt his fist shatter the jaw.
Oh Bong-seok, clutching his non-stop bleeding ankle, muttered in disbelief.
The body of Oh Bong-chun, with his eyes completely glazed over, fell backward.
‘Did he die?’
He wasn’t sure. It wasn’t easy to kill someone, especially someone as big as that, with a single blow.
An indescribable emotion washed over him. He never thought he’d hit someone with the intention of killing in his lifetime…
There was no time to dwell on feelings. Yuri swallowed his breath and lowered his fists. If he hadn’t killed, he would have been killed. That thought calmed Yuri down effectively.
At the same time, Yuri realized his situation. Possessor or not, in this world, if you’re unlucky, you die.
His fist hurt.
Yuri glanced at his throbbing fist. The skin of his left fist, which had struck Oh Bong-chun’s jaw, was torn, bleeding.
‘In the main hall, no matter how many times I swung my fist, it never bled…’
The spiritual world and reality are indeed different. Should he train his fists? Yuri thought this as he turned to look at Oh Bong-seok.
His wrist also throbbed. Did he sprain it while hitting?
“Why did you attack here?”
He roughly guessed the reason but wanted to hear it directly. Oh Bong-seok, who had been staring blankly at his fallen brother, looked up at Yuri in surprise.
The Oh brothers weren’t particularly skilled in martial arts. They could be considered third-rate, but with their level of ability and reckless courage, they were more than enough for a backwater alley like this, with no proper Black Path sect backing.
In fact, just today, the Oh brothers had easily wiped out a group from the Black Snake Faction, which dominated this area.
They sent their underlings first to create chaos and then did the deed themselves, but it was true that the Oh brothers were significantly stronger than the local delinquents. And as is often the case with siblings, the older brother, Oh Bong-chun, was stronger than the younger.
‘He… he’s a master.’
Oh Bong-seok concluded with his dull mind. His brother, stronger than him, had been knocked down with a single blow without even screaming. Moreover, this unknown guy had shattered his brother’s jaw with bare hands, without using any weapon.
‘Was Dekan, that bastard, not just imitating the Black Path but actually had a backing from it?’
Then, is this unknown person a master from the Black Path? The gap in their skills was huge, but he attacked covertly with a surprise… considering how he pretended to be dead at first and waited for an opportunity, he might even be an assassin.
If so, that’s even worse… Assassins are a group in the Black Path that one should absolutely never get involved with.
“Aren’t you going to answer?”
Yuri’s voice grew harsher. Only then did Oh Bong-seok flinch and flatten himself to the ground.
“Yes, yes? I’m sorry, could you repeat that once more…?”
“Why did you attack here?”
“It’s not, not me who suggested it. My brother, whom your excellency knocked down, he, he’s the one who suggested it.”
“Who’s asking that? Why did you attack?”
Just talking seemed not to be enough. Yuri picked up the axe that Oh Bong-seok had dropped.
“Bl… Black Snake Faction, if we took them down, we could control this neighborhood… That’s why! That’s all! If we knew a master like you was behind the Black Snake Faction, we wouldn’t have come near this place…”
Just as he suspected. From the memories he recalled, the Oh brothers had been eyeing the territory of the Black Snake Faction for some time. A confrontation was inevitable at some point, and it was the Oh brothers who launched the first attack.
“Who told you to do it?”
He asked, worrying that someone else might be behind the Oh brothers. If the Oh brothers were instigated by someone to attack this place, it could complicate things for Yuri, the sole survivor.
Oh Bong-seok blinked and asked back. Yuri threatened with the axe, narrowing his eyes.
“Speak honestly and I’ll spare you. But whoever sent you will die by my hand. What will you do?”
Impressed by how Yuri shattered his brother’s jaw, Oh Bong-seok regarded him as a ‘master’. He seemed to have no intention to fight and was only thinking about saving his own life. Perhaps this threat would make him talk.
At the same time, Yuri realized something about his situation. Regardless of being a possessor, in this world, if you’re unlucky, you die.
“Wh… What do you mean? Who would order us to do such a thing?”
“I told you I’d spare your life if you spoke the truth.”
“Ah, master…! I’m not lying. I, Oh Bong-seok, swear on the heavens and my parents in heaven that I’m not lying.”
“Aren’t you an orphan?”
“Yes, I’m an orphan…!”
“I’m an orphan too.”
It wasn’t a lie. Both Lee Soo-hyuk and Yuri were orphans.
Could revealing they were in the same situation create a sense of inner closeness and get him to talk? Yuri had such a thought and spoke, but Oh Bong-seok just blinked, not knowing how to respond.
“Ah… Ah, master, that’s truly regrettable…”
It wasn’t a truth revealed just to get some sympathy.
“Really, there’s no one?”
“Master…! Please believe me. Isn’t it the truth? The Black Snake Faction here isn’t anything special, just a bunch of riffraff pretending to be part of the Black Path, not even receiving a Black Order! Why would we attack with someone backing us?”
It wasn’t an unfamiliar term. This word appeared in ‘Seronis’, which brought Lee Soo-hyuk to this world, and was also in Yuri’s memory.
The Black Dragon Society, an alliance of the Black Path that controlled hundreds of organizations. Those affiliated could carry the name of the Black Dragon Society in return for paying tribute.
The Black Snake Faction wasn’t part of the Black Dragon Society. So even if they were attacked and destroyed, the Black Dragon Society wouldn’t intervene.
‘The leader of the Black Dragon Society in the game was an old man named Baoe Guai.’ (TL: Baoe Guai means Fierce Evil Monster)
Yuri’s memory differed. The current leader of the Black Dragon Society had killed Baoe Guai ten years ago and took over.
The new leader didn’t just cleanly kill him. Without any respect for the former leader, he decorated the gates and central square of Amyang, the city controlled by the Black Dragon Society, with Baoe Guai’s limbs and head.
Despite such a drastic move, the identity of the new leader of the Black Dragon Society was not known to the world. Rumors suggested he might be a ‘possessor’, but it was just an unverified rumor.
“I just followed what my dead brother suggested…! Really, please believe me!”
Yuri, frowning in thought, listened to Oh Bong-seok’s plea. It probably wasn’t a lie. Yuri nodded slightly and continued.
“I’ll spare you since you spoke honestly.”
“Yes. But crawl out the door.”
Oh Bong-seok hesitated for a moment, glancing at Yuri and then at his leg. His right ankle, deeply cut by the knife, had no feeling in the toes. He could use his left leg, but it was hard to support his weight.
Without support, crawling was his only option. Oh Bong-seok finally began to crawl on the floor, his body drawing lines in the blood-soaked ground.
Watching him, Yuri composed his emotions.
He had to do it. With that decision made, he stepped forward towards Oh Bong-seok, who flinched as he crawled.
“This son of a bitch…”
Oh Bong-seok stopped crawling and cursed.
“Bastard… You think I don’t know what you’re planning? Saying you’ll spare me? Telling me to crawl? F**k, son of a b…”
Oh Bong-seok wasn’t entirely foolish. He knew there was no reason for Yuri to spare him, and in his current state, he couldn’t possibly win against Yuri.
Despite being skilled enough to take down his brother with a single blow, he had been pretending to be dead on the floor. The offer to let him crawl away was likely a ploy to kill him more easily.
“F… f**k, f**k, hit me, hit me in the head. Please… do it as I ask, just kill me in one go…”
Yuri didn’t respond verbally.
The brother’s axe struck Oh Bong-seok’s head. Oh Bong-seok convulsed for a moment and then went limp.
The feeling was different from when he swung his fist. Suddenly, his head spun, and he felt nauseous. Yuri covered his mouth with his hand, suppressing the urge to vomit.
The Black Snake Faction and the attackers are all dead. The Oh brothers had no one backing them.
Yuri is alive. Should he just run away and pretend to be dead? Fortunately, Yuri’s social connections are sparse, so escaping shouldn’t pose a problem.
But he couldn’t flee yet. Now that he knew the Oh brothers had no backers, he had to wait for Lorelia’s gift, which was due in a month.
Yuri took a ‘203’ key out of his pocket.
He made a decision. For now, he would continue living as Yuri and assess the situation. Even in this world, having a proven identity was an advantage too valuable to discard. While he could get a new identity through the black market brokers, it would cost a lot of money.
Luckily, both Yuri and Lee Soo-hyuk were orphans with scarce social ties.
He turned to look at Oh Bong-chun. He was still alive.
Dekan, the leader of the Black Snake Faction, wielded a large battle hammer. Yuri lifted the battle hammer to head height.
There wouldn’t be much investigation into deaths resulting from gang rivalries in the back alleys. They were probably already attacked after bribes were given. In this world, the death of someone without anything isn’t considered significant.
Yuri brought the hammer down on Oh Bong-chun’s head. He struck several more times, feeling it wasn’t enough with just one hit.
Next was Oh Bong-seok. Yuri fetched a large machete nearby and struck several more times at the ankle he had already cut with the dagger. Then, he plunged a few daggers into the relatively intact back of Oh Bong-seok.
“What the f**k am I doing?”
A hollow laugh escaped him. What should he even call this feeling? Disgusting and abhorrent… Yuri sat down, laughing bitterly.
He was just trying to survive. Though possessed into a crappy game and forced to live a crappy life, Yuri didn’t want to die.
Maybe one day, he might think it’s better to die than to live like this.
But that day wasn’t today.
Somehow, he would survive.
Killing the God of Chaos, the possessors could return to Earth. He didn’t particularly want to go back – seeing the bodies around him, he felt a sense of homesickness he never had before.
Moreover, the possessor who kills the God of Chaos would have a wish granted by the Goddess of Order.
‘Immune to Insults, Lee Soo-hyuk, you can do it!’
Just a guy who played games seriously. Lorelia’s hopeful cries, full of baseless optimism, echoed in his ears.
Yuri laughed hollowly, holding a dagger.
Like in movies or dramas, he tore a piece of cloth and bit it in his mouth. He wasn’t sure of the exact purpose, but there must be a reason for doing it.
The Black Snake Faction and the Oh brothers’ gang had killed each other.
20-year-old Yuri, the youngest, miraculously survived the chaos.
Surviving without a scratch seemed too convenient. Biting the cloth tightly, he looked down at his body.
It seemed better to cut than to stab.
Unlike violence disguised as education, what he was doing now was self-harm, cutting his own body.
He immediately understood why people in movies or dramas bite on something when being tortured.
Gordon from the general store.
He was one of the few good people in Yuri’s sparse circle of acquaintances.
Even though his store was filled with unsold, dusty old items, Gordon regularly donated to the Aldor Orphanage. Sometimes, when business was slightly better, he even sent small donations.
Yuri had met him several times while at the orphanage.
Since then, Gordon had often scolded Yuri, who was always getting into trouble.
Even when Yuri left the orphanage and started pickpocketing and other misdeeds in the back alleys, Gordon would nag him to rather work at the general store if he was going to live like that.
When Yuri finally joined the Black Snake Faction and began his life in the organization, Gordon sighed deeply.
Whenever Yuri, the youngest, came to collect protection money, Gordon didn’t make it difficult for him, using their old acquaintance as an excuse. He was more concerned about whether Yuri was eating well.
Gordon, who was sitting in the quiet store yawning, suddenly jumped up when he saw Yuri, bloodied and staggering in.
“Yuri, Yuri?! You brat! What the hell happened?”
Yuri stuttered as he called out to Gordon. Rushing over, Gordon supported Yuri and grimaced at his face.
“All this blood…! Hey, don’t talk. Just stay still.”
Yuri’s upper clothing, soaked with blood from cuts all over, was more rag than garment. Gordon peeled it off and examined Yuri’s body.
Old scars and burn marks, plus new injuries. Gordon was unable to continue speaking, his lips trembling.
“Elena… what would she think if she saw you now?”
At that name, Yuri’s cheek twitched.
Elena. A childhood friend of the same age from Aldor Orphanage.
But not all orphans are the same. In ten years, Yuri had never once met Elena.
“What happened exactly? Where did you get these injuries?”
“The Black Snake Faction is gone.”
Yuri gave the answer he had prepared.
“The Oh brothers. Those bastards. They stormed the office with their gang. And… and then everyone died. Our guys and the Oh brothers’ men.”
“Everyone? Everyone’s dead? What do you mean?”
“I… I don’t really know. I was hiding and then…”
There was no need to finish. He stopped mid-sentence and bit his lip. Gordon looked at Yuri blankly and then closed his eyes tightly.
“It’s a relief.”
After a moment of silence, Gordon let out a long sigh.
“It’s a relief those bastards are dead… and that you’re alive.”
Yuri couldn’t help but feel a mix of emotions at those words.