I'm not a Regressor - Chapter 1
Chapter 1: Return (1)
A black sky.
In the darkness of a faded sun and moon, there was a hill covered with numerous corpses.
A youth’s footsteps headed towards the mountain of corpses.
Each step shook dangerously, one after another.
The scene was filled with pulverized and crushed corpses no matter where you looked.
Gore filled the area: internal organs and cerebrospinal fluid.
At that moment—
—a pouring ray of starlight that brightened the darkness headed towards him.
[Goob Job, Awakener Lee Shinhyuk.]
A woman in a fluttering dress made of starlight with silver hair that came down to her waist slowly floated in midair.
In front of the eyes of the blood-soaked youth was a woman, no, a goddess.
Star of the Weaver Girl. Goddess of Lyra.
The most radiantly shining celestial amongst the constellations that lit up the night sky looked down at him with a cold stare.
[You have killed the Heavenly Demon and saved this world.]
Emotionless, an inanimate way of speaking—as if reading a phrase off of a piece of paper.
Shinhyuk’s mouth began to twist.
His shoulders shook, and his laughter exploded.
“Saved? Did you say that I saved this world?”
A cracked voice leaked out between his dry lips.
Violently stomping his foot, he cried out loud.
Tears flowed down his face.
“What kind of saving is this!!!! What kind of fucking saving is this when everyone died to the hands of that monster!!!”
Collapsing on the spot, he screamed.
“The apostles of the 12 Zodiacs! The Seven Stars!! Even those damn celestial bastards!!”
Thousands, tens of thousands of Awakeners had combined their strength.
The celestials that competed and fought between each other every day had held hands—all to kill the one Heavenly Demon.
To stop the one called the Sky’s Devil, that unparalleled monster.
“Ev-Everyone… they all…”
They went and died.
“All… of them got eaten up…”
He helplessly dropped his head.
He recalled the vivid image of that lone monster ripping to shreds their combined might while devouring an entire celestial.
[But, the Sky’s Devil died in the end.]
Though the sacrifice of achieving that goal had been in the thousands, if not the tens of thousands.
The apostles that hunted, the brave warriors, the noble celestials.
Most of them ended up dying.
The Heavenly Demon had died.
[Awakener Lee Shinhyuk, you have killed him.]
He ended up killing him.
Shinhyuk, with his hollow eyes, raised his head.
He could see the collapsed Heavenly Demon with a spear impaled through his heart.
A face covered with a blank white mask.
Azure eyes deprived of life could be seen beyond the mask.
Swallowing his dry saliva, he spat out the monster’s name in a low pitch.
“…Heavenly Demon, Gwon Ohjin.”
The Sky’s Devil, The Owner of the Black Heaven, The Stigma Devourer.
Although many titles referred to him, there existed only one emotion towards him.
The name ‘Heavenly Demon’ terrified the entire world.
Of course, it wasn’t like that from the start.
The Ohjin from the past was someone who used to be a normal Awakener.
The power ‘Black Heaven’ Ohjin gained from awakening could absorb stigmas that celestials granted to Awakeners.
With that power, he had devoured the stigmas of countless Awakeners and even ended up devouring the owners of the stigmas, the celestials.
‘That resulted in…’
This hill covered in corpses.
It was the end of the star called Earth.
[Awakener Lee Shinhyuk, for you who has saved the world by killing the Heavenly Demon, a wish that comes true will be granted according to the ‘Pledge of Stars’.]
The low-pitched voice of the goddess rang in his ears.
Lee Shinhyuk’s cold pupils flared up.
Wringing it out.
He opened his mouth that had dry lips.
“Send… me back to the past.”
[…What did you say?]
Vega’s eyebrow lifted up.
[Are you perhaps hoping to regress?]
[…Do you wish to repeat that horrendous past once more?]
“It’ll be different.”
Lee Shinhyuk roughly clenched down on his teeth.
“This time, It’ll be different.”
Not because of anyone else.
But he himself wanted to make it different.
The Goddess’s eyes slanted.
[So you wish to be the Heaven-defying Star.]
The possibility of going against the world’s destiny.
The only existence that could write another page into a story’s ending that had already finished.
The human in front of her… just wished to become that Regressor.
[A world’s destiny that has already been decided once will not change easily.]
“I am aware.”
[A future more painful and hopeless than the first time may occur.]
“I will change it.”
[There will be no second chances.]
“One is enough.”
Lee Shinhyuk’s eyes burned with determination.
The goddess gently closed her eyes, lost in thought.
A small period of time passed.
Golden pupils that looked full of starlight focused on Lee Shinhyuk.
[Fine. According to the ‘Pledge of Stars’, I will let you return to the past.]
Lee Shinhyuk roughly clenched his fist.
“One more thing.”
[According to the ‘Pledge of Stars’, there is only one wish.]
“This isn’t a wish, Vega. This is a proposal to you.”
He continued with his crackling voice.
“Grant me the stigma of Lyra.”
The goddess’s golden eyes wavered.
[Are you not aware? This lady’s stigma… it’s something humans cannot bear.]
As she said.
To that day, there had not been a single human that had survived after being granted the stigma of Lyra.
Since that power was simply too overwhelming, nobody was capable of using her stigma.
Even the ‘Heavenly Demon’; until the end, he had been unable to receive the stigma of Lyra.
[Even if you are the hero that has slain the Heavenly Demon… The chances of being granted the stigma of Lyra and surviving is one in a thousand… no, it’s not even one in ten thousand.]
“If I cannot be that ‘one’, then there would be no reason for me to regress in the first place,” Lee Shinhyuk replied with his determined voice.
Vega again closed her eyes in deep thought and slowly approached him.
[Alright, Heaven-defying Star, this lady will grant you the stigma of Lyra.]
She placed her hands on top of Lee Shinhyuk’s shoulder.
[According to the pledge, the stigma of Lyra will settle in the moment you return to the past. In addition… this lady will come to find you personally.]
“Come to find me?”
With what methods?
Did that mean her memories wouldn’t change even if he returned to the past?
[That’s right. Even though you’ll be the only one to maintain the memories of this world… if you are with this lady’s stigma, my past self will be able to at least recognize the fact that you are a ‘Regressor’.]
In other words, she, who would lose all memories of this world, would be able to recognize the stigma as a sign of him being a Regressor.
[If you are able to endure this lady’s stigma, my past self should make you my apostle.]
“That’s… a little reassuring.”
Lee Shinhyuk’s stiff face started to relax.
He expressed it as a little reassuring, but his heart was beating as if it were going to explode.
As Vega was one of the ‘North Stars’, becoming Vega’s apostle was something that countless Awakened people had longed for.
[Then, I will start the fulfillment of the pledge right away.]
With Vega behind him, Lee Shinhyuk turned the body.
He faced towards the place where the Heavenly Demon had collapsed.
He grasped the blank white mask that covered the Heavenly Demon’s face with his trembling hands.
He removed the mask.
In the mask’s absence, the face of a youth with slightly droopy eyes was revealed.
“This is… Ohjin’s face.”
For someone who had made the entire world shiver in fear, he had the appearance of someone very gentle and mild.
Lee Shinhyuk’s eyebrows slightly scrunched as he observed the face of the dead Heavenly Demon.
‘Have I… seen him before?
He diligently searched through his hazy memories, but nothing came to mind.
The important thing was the fact that he had confirmed the ‘Heavenly Demon’s face.
‘Ohjin wasn’t that strong when he first showed up.’
He had only started to get stronger at an alarming rate by using the power of the Black Heaven to devour stigmas; when he first showed himself to the world, he was nothing but one of the common Awakeners.
‘I will return to the past… and kill Ohjin.’
If only he could kill him before he became the monster known as the ‘Sky’s Devil’.
‘…I can save them.’
The things he had lost and wasn’t able to protect.
The uncountable amount of regrets he had.
[There isn’t much time remaining, Awakener Lee Shinhyuk.]
The hurrying voice of the goddess.
Raising his body, Lee Shinhyuk nodded his head.
‘I don’t have any information besides his face, but…’
It didn’t matter.
He knew the location of where he had first registered himself as an Awakener.
If he knew his face, he could simply wait in that place and kill him.
“Alright. Return me to the past.”
Lee Shinhyuk stood and started to approach Vega.
An enormous array of lights started to wrap around Lee Shinhyuk’s body.
The bastard who took his everything.
‘I will definitely kill you.’
And with that…
He lost consciousness
The feeling of floating through a vast sky.
Amidst that feeling, a memory from the past flitted through his head.
The memory of him losing everything.
“-The sky is too dark.”
Looking up to the sky with a smug smile was the Heavenly Demon.
The blue sky on that day was blindingly bright; the sun’s light shone down without a single sign of clouds.
“-Isn’t that so?”
The Heavenly Demon asked him, ignoring the sun’s blinding light.
In the hands of the Heavenly Demon that was excitedly shaking his shoulders,
—he heard the voice of his younger brother’s decapitated head.
his younger brother that was powerful enough to be selected as an apostle of one of the 12 Zodiacs.
An intelligent and wise younger brother, different from his foolish self.
That younger brother died,
in front of his eyes.
“-Why, why are you doing this!!”
He screamed. He wailed.
He begged with tears flowing down.
“-Just why are you doing this to me!!!”
With a wide smile, the Heavenly Demon threw the younger brother’s head towards him.
“-Don’t you know?”
Inside the blank white mask,
the azure eyes gazed at him.
-On that day… wouldn’t none of this have happened if you hadn’t thrown me away at that place?
The feeling of floating in midair ended, and an intense pain started to violently shake his body.
[The stigma of Lyra is being granted to the body of Awakener Lee Shinhyuk.]
[As the stigma of Lyra is being granted, the existing stigma of Pyxis will disappear.]
[Warning! As the stigma is too powerful, Awakener Lee Shinhyuk’s body is collapsing!]
[Entering an unstable state.]
A blue message appeared before his eyes amidst the sound of clear bells.
However, he was in no state of being capable of reading the message.
A blue lightning bolt started to burn his body.
A torrent of pain shook him.
A very familiar voice…
A voice that he could never forget.
With trembling eyes, Lee Shinhyuk raised his head.
There was no doubt.
The face behind the mask he had taken off moments ago.
The face he couldn’t—and shouldn’t—forget.
In that place.
In front of his eyes.
Was the ‘Heavenly Demon’.
The moment he saw him breathing just fine, a torrent of emotions that could drive him crazy shook him.
[The disturbance of emotions is intensifying your unstable state!]
‘Why is the Heavenly Demon…’
‘Just why is Gwon Ohjin in front of my eyes?’
The first face he saw after regressing was… the face of the nemesis that took everything away from him.
“Kyhak, Kyhuk!! Kyaaaaaahhh!!!”
On that spot, Lee Shinhyuk’s limbs shook as if having a seizure.
Every time a blue spark flashed, his body roughly bounced around.
[Due to your unstable state, the stigma of Lyra is becoming erratic!]
[Your body is completely destroyed!]
The body of Lee Shinhyuk that looked like it was having a seizure began to twist.
“Kraa!! Krrg! Krrrgg!!”
Blood erupted from his throat, flowing down his chin.
Inside his dying mind, he recalled the voice of the goddess that had warned him.
“-The chances of being granted the stigma of Lyra and surviving is one in a thousand… no, it isn’t even one in ten thousand.”
It was for a very elementary reason.
The cause was surprisingly simple.
‘I… couldn’t be that ‘one’.
A hollow sensation weighed down on him.
His entire consciousness started to flicker.
He could no longer feel the intense pain that shook his body.
“Why… couldn’t I……”
And, with that final regret,
Lee Shinhyuk took his last breath.
* * *
“Nooooooo!!! Why is this bastard like this all of a sudden!!
Gwon Ohjin roughly grabbed the collar of the collapsed Lee Shinhyuk that had spontaneously had a seizure.
“Hey! Breathe! I said, breathe, god dammit!!”
Of course, he wasn’t sad about Lee Shinhyuk’s death.
It had only been a couple of hours since meeting him in the first place; it was nothing but a short meeting that didn’t even have the time to develop any affection.
The problem wasn’t Lee Shinhyuk’s death, but…
“If you’re going to die, at least kill those bastards first, you fucking dumbass!!!”
Surrounding them were a group of 2-Star monsters.
The low-pitched growl of a beast.
The ferocious gazes of the monsters surrounding him steered towards him.
‘I wouldn’t say anything if you had died desperately fighting a heroic battle.’
‘What do you expect me to do if you die suddenly at the critical moment when the monsters surround us!’
On top of that—
“Fuck! Fuck! Fuckkkk!!!”
Ohjin wasn’t even an ‘Awakener’ that could fight monsters.
“With what method…”
Jackshit to methods.
A powerless ordinary person surrounded by monsters really had no need to think.
He couldn’t go down without a fight.
Gwon Ohjin searched Lee Shinhyuk’s body to try and find something useful for this situation.
At that moment, the stigma on Lee Shinhyuk’s left chest caught his eyes.
A stigma he had never seen before.
He instinctively touched the engraved stigma with the tip of his fingers.
It was at that moment.
[The Black Heaven’s first transformation will start!]
[The Black Heaven is absorbing the stigma of Lyra!!]
Without allowing him the opportunity for any more doubts, from the tip of his fingers, a black cloud started to cover the engraved stigma on Lee Shinhyuk’s chest.
A blue lightning riding a black cloud started to permeate his body.
“FUCKKKK!!!! IT FUCKING HUURRTTTSSSS!!!”
To add a little exaggeration, the pain was as if his balls were exploding
Ohjin let out an unsightly scream while his body twisted.
Just how much time had passed.
[You have completely absorbed the stigma of Lyra]
[The power of the stigma is too strong!]
[The power will be adjusted according to the stage of the Black Heaven.]
With the blue message window appearing in front of his eyes, the pain settled down.
Ohjin let out a rough breath and got up.
He reached out his hand towards the message window he couldn’t believe he was seeing.
‘Isn’t this the system window that only Awakeners can see?’
‘Why can I…?”
‘Is it possible that I’ve just become an Awakener?’
While he was caught in shock, he could feel the stigma on his left chest, which could be said to be the symbol of Awakeners.
‘This was definitely on that bastard a moment ago…”
A stigma that he had never seen.
While he was touching the stigma with a frown,
A radiant starlight poured from a rip in the air before him.
The figure that appeared out of the starlight was—
[Hmm, I could definitely feel the energy of my stigma in this place.]
—a silver-haired Goddess that was as beautiful as the Milky Way.
Turning her head around, her shining golden pupils started to head towards him.
[The fact that you have my stigma, which I haven’t given to anyone before… I understand.]
‘Just what does she understand?’
The Goddess that had suddenly appeared out of the ripped space looked at him and nodded her chin.
[Heaven-defying Star. The existence that goes against destiny. The one and only savior of a world that is destined to meet its end…]
‘What kind of bullshit is this woman spouting?’
[You must be a Regressor.]
‘No, I’m not.’
T/n : Vega was the North Star several thousand years ago, and will replace Polaris as the North Star in approximately 10 thousand years.
Looking up the stories and meanings behind constellations while reading will make the trip more enjoyable :).
Celestials are the stars that represent the constellation they belong to.