<Chapter 5. It’s the Hunter (1).>
It was about five km from the superstore, where Kim Taehoon and the others were located, to their destination, Ojeong-dong military base,
Kim Taehoon wanted to arrive at the base by four in the morning and planned to do whatever was required to get there.
He knew better than anyone else how important it was to carry out a goal and liked to plan accordingly.
But it was already after three in the morning and Kim Taehoon was still in the police precinct.
On top of that, he was using hot water boiled with the camping pots to manually drip a cup of coffee.
“Sir, do we have time for this?”
Even Bhang Hyunwook was asking some questions out of concern.
As usual Kim Taehoon only replied to Bhang Hyunwook after enjoying the coffee and savoring its aroma.
“It’s too dangerous to move with this stiff body and mind. Regardless of the body or the mind, you have to relax first. This coffee is good. I’ve never had this brand before…”
Of course, Kim Taehoon wasn’t just relaxing.
The three of them were not in a good condition.
An enormous monster that was indescribable had scattered fear all over the city of Bucheon, and that fear had set its roots inside Kim Taehoon and the others.
Without removing those roots it was like moving around with a poisoned body.
“The situation is also different from before the dragon appeared. The game has changed.”
More importantly, this effect was not limited to their group.
Like a rain shower, the unknown dragon had rained its fear all over Bucheon.
Everything in the city was affected by it.
The game which had calmed down after the monster attack started on December 31st at 4 pm had been upended.
If it were a ship, it would be like a drifting ship had met a giant wave and capsized.
“That Roar… Most people would have at least fainted or possibly even died because of the fear. Especially with this temperature… It meant the risk of freezing to death when you fainted and couldn’t expect proper help from your surroundings.”
Ahn Sunmi added her opinion to Kim Taehoon’s.
She had been affected the most by the dragon’s fear and since she was a doctor her words were very persuasive.
Kim Taehoon poured more coffee into her empty cup and added to her statement.
“It’d be better if it were like that for everyone, but it’s a bigger problem that it’s not.”
“What do you mean?”
“There is a high possibility of something out there not just fainting but reacting ferociously.”
The dragon’s fear was powerful. But not everything would react to that fear by collapsing.
Kim Taehoon and Bhang Hyunwook had frozen but didn’t faint. There would be more awakened among the survivors and they would have recovered if they had higher ‘Energy’ ranks.
“If it were a human or a monster.”
“The monsters haven’t left.”
The monsters had not disappeared from Bucheon.
As proof, the monsters turned the city into a ghost town but there were few monster corpses found.
Where did the monsters go? Did they leave Bucheon to go to Seoul or Incheon?
It was more likely, after filling themselves up with human flesh, that they went to hide inside these concrete forests to avoid the cold weather.
Don’t we also use facilities like the subway station as shelters?
“If I were a monster I would come outside and forcefully feed rather than just doing nothing.”
If a monster felt threatened by a higher rank predator, it would go crazy or gorge on food before hiding somewhere deeper inside the city.
This would be when the most dangerous monsters were out and about.
“Rather than fainting from the fear the ones that are out right now are strong enough to fill their stomachs.”
They were at least stronger than the goblins and orcs.
You have to keep the Black Orc’s level in mind.
Kim Taehoon was waiting for the monsters to gorge on food and then return to their hiding spots.
Bhang Hyunwook and Ahn Sunmi didn’t ask any more questions after Kim Taehoon explained his thoughts.
They just tried to warm themselves up with the coffee Kim Taehoon made, and comfort their terror-stricken minds with chocolate.
Meanwhile, Kim Taehoon looked at his right hand in silence.
His right hand started to turn black.
The ability he received by defeating the Black Orc, [Dark skin]
With his current energy level, Kim Taehoon could only turn up to his wrist black.
The changed skin felt like he was wearing an iron armor.
It also had the hardness of iron.
It couldn’t be cut by a flimsy knife, and even punching a glass window with full power would only result in scratches to the skin.
‘You gained rewards for killing a monster.’
This was the clear proof.
That you gained something out of slaying a monster.
‘I’m curious what you would get after killing that giant monster.’
That started Kim Taehoon’s imagining on how to kill that monster.
Kim Taehoon sipped his coffee with a slight smile on his face.
It was still under the cover of thick darkness and the road was filled with abandoned cars and frozen corpses. Alongside the road were low-rise commercial buildings.
On the road were two goblins feasting.
They focused on a single frozen body using their sharp teeth like dogs, biting and swallowing flesh.
It looked like hard work.
While goblins had enough jaw strength and sharp teeth to bite through human flesh, that was only true for soft living flesh.
In this blistering cold, it was a different situation with a frozen corpse.
It didn’t even taste good.
It was a hard struggle to swallow the flesh. Chewing, swallowing, filling up the stomach, none of it felt any good.
The eating was only for survival.
All of the sudden the goblins grabbed their throats.
They struggled as they made choking sounds.
That was when a young man with a baseball bat appeared and smashed the head of a goblin.
One of the goblin’s eyeballs almost popped out of its skull because the guy hit the back of its head just right.
The guy swung again and came straight down on the other goblin’s head.
The gasping goblin’s mouth was forced closed, its protruding tongue was cut in half, and its teeth shattered from the impact.
Dripping with blood, the goblin collapsed to the floor vomiting blood from its mouth.
The guy, Bhang Hyunwook, made an okay sign with his hand.
Then Ahn Sunmi appeared.
She flipped the goblin face up and with a sharp knife stabbed right under the goblin’s chest.
Then she stuck her hands into the opening she had just made with her knife.
When she pulled her hand out she held a red stone.
She repeated the process on the other goblin. Get underneath the chest, cut open the most tender part of the goblin’s body and shove her arm in to reach the heart, then remove the stone.
Kim Taehoon appeared after that.
He held a plastic lamp oil container in his hand and sprayed the oil onto the goblins’ body.
“I’m curious, why are you spraying the lamp oil?”
“It’s only going to be the monsters who are going to eat these corpses, so let them have some stomach problems.”
He explained briefly.
Meanwhile, Ahn Sunmi cleaned her bloodied hands with a towel and opened her palm to Kim Taehoon. She held two monster stones in her hand.
Kim Taehoon took one and passed the other to Bhang Hyunwook.
Without hesitation, the two of them swallowed the bloody monster stones.
They had to withstand the gag reflex as they struggled to overcome the strong taste of blood.
Bhang Hyunwook rubbed his chest and said.
“Now I’m almost full.”
When Kim Taehoon decided to move, the scene that appeared in front of them was exactly as Kim Taehoon had predicted.
The monsters were eating human corpses as if they were possessed by something.
Kim Taehoon didn’t miss any of them. He hunted and trained Bhang Hyunwook and Ahn Sunmi along the way.
“Bhang Hyunwook, beware of your surroundings when you swing your bat. Do not lose focus.”
“Stab these two goblins in the eyes with your knife.”
Following those instructions, Ahn Sunmi immediately stabbed the goblin’s eyes with the butcher knife.
Red blood flooded out of the goblins eyes and the sound of the eyes getting stabbed was terrible.
It was like the tears of vengeful spirits.
Ha! Bhang Hyunwook took a short breath. It wasn’t something he could easily get used to.
That’s actually one of the reasons why Kim Taehoon was letting them do these things.
‘It’s fortunate they are adapting to this quickly. Ahn Sunmi is faster, I guess it’s because she’s a doctor.’
Unlike Kim Taehoon, Bhang Hyunwook and Ahn Sunmi were just normal citizens a day—no half a day ago.
Most people have a gut reaction to killing. Not a small percentage of people even have trouble dealing with a dead feathered chicken for cooking.
They hesitated to stab the monsters even if the monsters were about to kill them and that hesitation determined whether they lived or died.
Kim Taehoon was trying to give Bhang Hyunwook and Ahn Sunmi that experience.
The experience of killing.
It was not nice to have that experience in your life, but now they had no choice.
Because now, they had to kill to survive.
“Um that’s our destination, right?”
And that something would not only include monsters.
“We are going stop here and take a short nap before moving on.”
“Huh? But we are almost to the military base.”
“No guard welcomes visitors at night. If I had command of that base I would authorize them to shoot after calling out a warning if they heard no response within two seconds.”
It wasn’t guaranteed that the soldiers in the base would welcome the survivors.
If the base was operating normally, there’s also no way that they didn’t have guards
The guards would also be extremely tense. The consequences of a failure when guarding would not be just running laps in the field, losing your vacation days or a loss of privileges.
“Let’s get some rest first.”
All in all, Kim Taehoon’s party was also pretty worn out.
They needed time to recover.
You need to conserve energy to be able to fight or run away.
“We will approach the base when the sun rises.”
Kim Taehoon started to look for a place to get some sleep but there was no building suitable for sleeping.
So he chose an SUV as an accommodation option.
Kim Taehoon opened the car doors with his telekinetic power and everyone hopped into the car.
Inside the car was very cold, but after hunting in the blistering cold it was cozier than anywhere else for the gang.
It was also their first rest since moving out.
But it wasn’t for very long.
As dawn was about to appear, instead of a rooster crowing gunshots rang out to announce the early morning.
<Chapter 5. It’s the Hunter (1).> The end.