< Disasters Don't Discriminate (2) >
The cats of Mok-Gol started running around trying to find refuge. But the three archers were skilled. They searched for spots that the cats could possibly hide in, shooting arrows at the cats when they ran out of their hiding places. They were extremely skilled at archery since they were able to hit the cats that were running in full force.
Could they be Slaughters?
It was possible that they were Slaughters, but to Zin, they seemed to be wild animal hunters. Slaughters weren’t people who could hunt animals tactfully. The only thing they were good at was smashing and destroying. However, Zin noticed how some were chasing the cats, and some were shooting at the cats.
The swift cats were getting picked off one at a time by the hunters. Leona heard the loud screech, moved carefully out of the building and waved at Zin.
Zin signaled to Leona.
Leona quickly picked up his signal and nodded her head. Without a word, Leona understood and swiftly moved to the building that Zin was at. Meanwhile, the animal hunters calmly continued to hunt for the cats.
“What’s going on?”
“They must be hunting animals. See that over there?”
Leona nodded and seemed to understand what was going on.
“They’re not Slaughters, are they?”
“Don’t think they are…”
“I was so surprised…”
Leona sighed with relief as she thought that something was going on since the cats were making a commotion. Zin continued to monitor the animal hunters.
The fact that Zin spotted them first meant that he could preemptively attack them. And it was highly likely they were not Slaughters. It also didn’t matter if Zin let them finish their hunt and left the site.
“Mister, what are you going to do?”
“Well… It seems like they’re hunting for food, so we could just stay put, but…”
Disasters don’t discriminate between people. If the hunting of the cats were to bring misfortune and cause a disaster, the animal hunters would not be the only ones affected by the disaster.
“Let’s monitor the situation for a bit.”
Zin took out his Remington M700, and loaded some ammunition. He wasn’t sure what might happen, but he decided to conserve his ammo. Leona nodded grimly. The cat hunters were still wandering around Mok-Gol and had hunted about fifteen cats.
A few moments later, they were close enough to hear them speak.
“Isn’t this enough?”
“Let’s hunt just a little bit less so that we can come back for more.”
“Yeah, last time at district D, we hunted too many dogs until there were no more left.”
“We’ve broken five arrows as well.”
“We gotta catch some more. You know how many people we have to feed.”
The hunters sighed as the one who looked like the leader said:
“Even if we catch more, our food won’t last a week.”
“Crap… I hate this ominous place. I want to leave right now.”
“Calm down. Let’s hunt five more then. That should give the people enough to eat for a meal.”
All nodded at the leader’s comment. They probably had shelters somewhere and hunted animals to survive.
For a small group of people that weren’t able to form a village, the five hunters were responsible for earning their living.
The seemingly sad howls of the cats resounded from here to there. One of the hunters freaked out and said:
“Man… This is freaky…”
“I hate coming here…”
“Stop with the nonsense. There’s nothing here. There are only cats around this place.”
“I know. I know that being scared is cowardly… but you know what? As soon as we finish hunting, do you know what happens?”
One of the hunters looked around and said to the leader:
“Hundreds of cats come out and start staring at us… You guys don’t know because you’ve never seen it…”
The hunter was starting to panic as he imagined hundreds of cats staring at the hunters with grudge-filled eyes.. The scene of those nocturnal animals’ eyes staring at him remained as a nightmare for that hunter.
In the end, the leader got fed up and shouted angrily.
“Shut up! I’m more afraid of starving than some stupid cats’ eyes! I’m more afraid of seeing my kids falling into seizures than seeing those cats’ eyes! Shut up and follow me!”
At the leader’s words, the other hunters forgot about their terror. At that moment, they remembered the looks of sadness on their family members. They remembered the eyes of the starving and dying families.
Those kinds of sights were the scariest. And they realized that they had no time to be afraid of the cats’ cries.
“No… it’s not just the stupid cats’ eyes…”
However, the frightened hunter murmured to himself.
“It’s not just their eyes, they were crying in sorrow. Did you hear their cries? Do you know how they cried? Do you know how sorrowfully they cried?”
“Shut the hell up, you idiot!”
The leader smacked the horrified hunter in his face. The hunter fell down on the ground, blood all over his mouth.
“Get yourself together. Stand right up if you don’t want another swing.”
“We shouldn’t have come here…”
“Haha…hahahahaha… you, you don’t know… that sound. You haven’t heard it, that’s why.”
“Yo, yo. What the hell is wrong with him? Something’s wrong with him.”
At the other hunters’ words, the leader became alert again. The other hunters knew that he was scared of things, but not to this extent.
The leader realized that he was panicking beyond the norm.
Still lying on the ground, the hunter continued to murmur as blood dripped out of his mouth.
“Do you know how they cry?”
And the hunter opened his mouth.
The hunter cried out like a cat, letting out a sound that couldn’t possibly have come out of a human.
The man was not panicking.
As the cry of a cat came out through the hunter’s vocal cords, everyone felt chills running through their spines. Zin turned serious when he heard the cry.
Possession by spirit…
The man shivered and kept on talking.
“Like this… they cry like this…”
“Yo, what the hell is wrong with you? What’s going on? Huh?”
“What’s wrong? Get yourself together!”
The comrades started shaking him, and the leader slapped him in the face many times, but the man wouldn’t get up from the ground.
“We… we should never have come here…”
And at the same time, cats were starting to surround the animal hunters—black, brown, striped, white, all sorts of cats gathered around them. And they started to cry.
“What… what is this…”
Unlucky things draw misfortune to themselves. Hundreds of cats were staring at the hunters with their shining eyes, and they started to cry out with sorrow and resentment.
Zin put away his M700.
Disaster has come upon this place
It was not a matter that could be resolved with guns.
“What the hell is this?!”
They only had bows. It was natural for wild animals to run away from humans. It was unthinkable for the wild animals to group together, staring at the humans.
The man on the ground cried again.
With his cry as the signal, hundreds of cats lunged towards the hunters. Leona’s eyes widened and watched the unbelievable sight.
Disasters don’t discriminate. In the wilderness, nobody knows what may happen at any moment. Therefore, it was wise to avoid anything deemed unlucky. It was not part of the hunter’s code, but of the magician’s.
“Holy… what the hell is going on?”
Hundreds of cats were attacking the hunters. Like an army of ants attacking the grasshoppers, the five hunters were at the mercy of the cats.
“Nooooo! Ack! Argggh!”
The possessed was also eaten alive by the cats. Leona was in shock as she witnessed the supernatural event unfold in front of her. Leona couldn’t believe that ordinary animals, not monsters, would do such a thing.
“What’s going on here?”
“Don’t know exactly, but they’re something like evil spirits.”
“Aren’t we in danger as well?”
Zin took something out from the void storage, and started to assemble it. At the same time, he was closely monitoring the situation.
“Disasters don’t discriminate.”
Cats were weaker beings, but if they attacked in groups, they could pose a danger to others. They would be a clear threat to Zin, and Leona was sure to die if the cats attacked at once.
“So what’s the plan?”
Zin finished assembling the item and looked around.
“Looks like the cats are all in one place.”
All the cats in Mok-Gol had gathered where the animal hunters were. Zin aimed the weapon that he’d just assembled towards their location.
It was an RPG-7 heat-pressure warhead.
“It’s going to be loud.”
Zin aimed at the cat’s location and fired away.
Leona fell down in surprise from the shot, landing on her butt.
A huge explosion flashed the location where the hundreds of cats had gathered.
With the heat and explosion of the warhead, everything turned into jerky. Zin put the launcher away into the void storage and tapped his hands. Leona looked down with disbelief.
“What just happened…”
Along with the hunters who were getting feasted upon, the hundreds of cats instantly disappeared without a trace. The heat-pressure warhead’s broad explosion blasted everything nearby with a storm of heat. Leona was astonished as she looked at the mushroom cloud created at the explosion’s point of impact.
“Totally way cool…”
“… to be honest, I think you need to watch your tongue.”
“Look who’s talking…”
Leona’s frank words perfectly described her emotions, but Zin always laughed whenever Leona made such comments. Leona was still in awe at the massive power of the heat-pressure warhead.
“Hey, question… they killed about ten cats and got into trouble. Is it okay for us to kill that many cats?”
“I wiped out the disaster’s medium, so we’re fine.”
Since the disaster had happened through the cats, there would be no problem if all the cats were gone. Leona was speechless at Zin’s reckless statement.
It was better to avoid unlucky things. But if disaster were to strike, the best action to take would be to overpower it. Zin always considered his own safety as the highest priority. It was always better to be safe than sorry.
“Well, we don’t know what might happen now…”
“I think so, too.’
Leona thought that there was no point staying in the village after seeing hundreds of cats crying in one place.
Zin and Leona had tagged along for quite some time, and they knew what their next move would be.
Zin then said:
Zin and Leona fled Mok-Gol without looking back.
Without finding out what had happened to the spirit of the cat, or if the spirit had been out for revenge, Leona and Zin left Mok-Gol. The two kept walking until dawn, and Zin checked on Leona to make sure she wasn’t possessed.
“Sorry! Sorry! It was a joke!”
Zin had pulled out his revolver to aim at her point blank, and Leona yelled in terror.
“You fool around here, and you might end up with a hole in your head, kid.”
Leona cried as he struck her head with the revolver. Some time had passed since they left Mok-Gol, and she gnashed her teeth in pain.
“You knew it was a joke, and you’re a big bully for pulling out that gun…”
Zin knew it was a prank because a human wouldn’t be able to fully imitate the cry of a cat.
“Don’t you know? Jokes are more fun when the other person plays along, isn’t that right?”
Zin shrugged as Leona shook her head.
“Tiring… It’s more tiring tagging along with a person like you.”
As they came out of the city, the open desert stretched out in front of them.
They still had to walk to find a shelter because the sun wasn’t up yet.
“So, was there anything worthwhile?”
As Zin asked, Leona shook her head.
“Nah. I wasn’t expecting much. Don’t know about other places, but at least in the places I searched, there was nothing. It’s been a while since the place collapsed.”
Leona talked as if it were just wishful thinking, and Zin nodded. It would be strange for anything valuable to be still around.
While walking, Leona suddenly spoke as if she remembered something.
“So, what’s going to happen to the family who were waiting for them?”
“Don’t ask a question if you know the answer.”
“… Sometimes you aren’t even in the mood to answer.”
“That’s just me.”
“You are such a brat.”
Leona clicked her tongue, and Zin didn’t even reply to her comment.
What would happen to the group of people who lost five hunters? The two knew the answer to that question. As Leona thought about the reason she asked, she couldn’t figure out why she’d asked that question in the first place.
There was no reason or need to have sympathy.
And therefore, there was no reason to be curious.