< Chapter 6. Establishment of a Clan (2).>
The fire on the mud troll’s body didn’t last very long. But what was only left after the fire were hardened mud clumps.
It was such a bleak scene. Nobody knew that immolation from gasoline was the weakness of the mud troll that had slaughtered almost 100 people; including the command staff and the soldiers.
That was the fearful part of being ignorant. You die unless you know about it, that was what the mud troll showed about this new era.
“Ahn Sunmi, try to treat the wounded with the mud troll’s flesh.”
Kim Taehoon was the first person who was relatively quick in adapting to the new era. Now he was trying to overcome that lack of information, ignorance.
“It might cause problems because of its toxicity if there’s gasoline left on it.”
“Most of it would have burned up with the fire.”
“But if there’s a problem…”
“It would be better trying the flesh than letting them bleed to death or risk an infection without any treatment.”
The information that the mud troll’s flesh would heal the wound and enhance the recovery ability had been gained. Now it’s time for a more in-depth analysis.
Like it was said before, ignorance now meant death. You need more threads of accurate information.
In that regard, Kim Taehoon’s command was reasonable. It was so reasonable that Ahn Sunmi couldn’t even try to respond.
“Lieutenant Kim Suji.”
As soon as Ahn Sunmi gave him the okay, Kim Taehoon called to Kim Suji who was standing upright where he could see her, “Yes sir!”
She walked in front of Kim Taehoon as if she were waiting for his command.
“We will start treating the wounded. Assign three people to Ahn Sunmi.”
Kim Suji called three healthy soldiers and ordered them to help Ahn Sunmi.
The three soldiers didn’t suspect anything unusual because what they heard was ‘treating the wounded’.
“We need the body of that monster.”
Until Ahn Sunmi told them to bring the mud troll’s flesh, which now looked more like broken pieces of a china.
“Are you nuts? Why would you need the dead monsters’ flesh? Why?”
“I mean, that thing might be alive? It could come back to life when we touch it!”
“… Do as you are told. There must be something going on.”
While Ahn Sunmi and the soldiers worked on the treatments, Kim Suji opened her mouth.
“May I ask a question, sir?”
“I’ll see if I can answer.”
“Didn’t you see me at the Army headquarters about five years ago?”
An unexpected question, but because of that question, Kim Taehoon could recall.
“You’re the granddaughter of Brigadier-general Kim Jaeryong?”
“You were with Major general Jang Youngsung.”
Kim Taehoon’s face took on an intent expression because of those two reasons.
“You have a good memory.”
One was the name Major general Jang Yongsung.
The other reason.
‘Brigadier general Kim Jaeryong…’
The personal history of Brig. Gen. Kim Jaeryong, Division Commander of the 60th Division under Capital Defense Command.
It was a powerful position. The position had enough power to send troops to save his granddaughter in Bucheon which was not very far from Seoul.
Of course, Brig. Gen. Kim Jaeryong retired three years ago, but you cannot underestimate the influence of a man who wore stars, even after retirement.
‘The granddaughter of a big shot.’
Brig. Gen. Kim Jaeryong also made smart decisions. Being a division commander of the 60th division does not come from poor choices.
But Lieutenant Kim Suji survived without any help from her grandfather.
‘Seoul’s down too.’
That meant, Seoul was not protected by the Capital Defense.
‘The worst imagination always becomes the reality.’
It was as he expected.
He didn’t expect Seoul to function as a capital city anymore, not after seeing the dragon flying from the direction of Seoul, across Bucheon and towards Incheon. But it’s one thing to expect it and another thing entirely to see the evidence of it actually happening.
“All these incidents, does the military know about it?”
Kim Suji asked what she was curious about, not knowing what Kim Taehoon was thinking about.
“If they knew about it, I wouldn’t be here now and if they knew about it, your grandfather Brig.Gen. Kim Jaeryong would have called already.”
Kim Suji got quiet. She was also able to predict what was going to happen.
Her grandfather’s influence was something she couldn’t ignore even if she tried to.
“The monsters appeared all over the country, and according to my prediction, not only Bucheon but also Seoul and Incheon have lost their ability to function as a city. It’s most likely that all of the cities in the country will be like this, and that the military has also lost control.”
Kim Suji sighed without even realizing it. The reality was too harsh for her, she had barely reached her goal to survive.
Kim Taehoon closed both eyes after looking at her.
‘The military is no longer like the one that I used to belong to.’
He had held this small hope. The hope that they might be able to communicate with each other and do something at least.
But that expectation was now meaningless. You have to consider the military as if it were gone. To survive, you have to really do it all by yourself.
When his thoughts had reached that point he looked at the back of his right hand. At his mark of the awakened.
And recalled… That dragon, that indescribable monster.
‘What we need now is not the military, but a monster that can hunt down the monsters. We have to be that monsters before they consume us.’
At that moment, Kim Taehoon’s complicated thoughts vanished and he became clear headed.
“Lieutenant Kim Suji.”
“Gather the monster corpses to one spot, and bring all the survivors, including the injured ones.”
[The Crystal of the Mud Troll]
- When consumed, Strength increases.
- When consumed, Defense rank increases.
- When consumed, Acquire the ability of the mud troll [Troll’s Vitality].
Kim Taehoon was looking at the picture of the orange stone from the mud troll and then looked at the stone in his hand.
Kim Suji said with her upright posture, as always.
As for what she said, all the survivors of Unit 1121—23 of them—were gathered at one spot.
Kim Taehoon opened his mouth, with the stone in his hand, as he looked at them.
Then he started the story.
He spoke of the incident at the superstore, about the mark of the awakened, using monster stones and about the dragon.
“This is where we stand right now.”
Everyone became silent after hearing the story.
‘...Is this really happening? Or am I dreaming?’
‘Would mom and dad be okay?’
‘F*ck, I was about to get released in a month! A month! Why is this happening to me…’
But the situation didn’t allow them to panic very much.
“All the information has been shared. Now I will share my private story.”
Kim Taehoon also didn’t give them time to think.
“I will consume all the monster stones from the monsters that were hunted down in this base.”
Everyone made a dazed face at that statement.
‘What is he talking about?’
‘The monster stone is the thing that makes you stronger?’
Kim Taehoon had explained the importance of the monster stones. He even showed them the picture of him previously butchering a goblin and removing the monster stone from the heart.
He also told them about how he thought monster stones would replace gunpowder in the future war.
But now Kim Taehoon was saying that he would take all the monsters stones that could be acquired from all the monster corpses found on this Unit 1121’s base. It was like saying ‘That’s a diamond, but I will take all the diamonds.’
“But, but you said the monster stone was something very valuable?”
“You are taking it all for yourself? The monsters inside the base were killed by us…”
The questions popped out from everywhere.
“The price for your lives.”
Kim Taehoon silenced the crowd with that one short phrase.
The crowd became silent.
Kim Taehoon continued to speak while looking calmly at the crowd.
“And for the information. If you have a question, raise your hand and I will let you speak.”
Of course, no one raised their hands. The price for their lives (and the information) was never cheap. It was also true that they owed Kim Taehoon for both of them.
“Do you need more time to ask questions?”
But what’s more important was that the lives of the remaining people were in Kim Taehoon’s hand. Kim Taehoon was like an umbrella.
If you decide to get out from under the umbrella you would have to face the monsters by yourself. If you faced a monster like the mud troll without Kim Taehoon, your life would be as useless as a pile of dirt.
“I guess nobody is opposed.”
On top of that, there were only two people, including Lieutenant Kim Suji, who had the mark of the awakened among the survivors. For the remaining twenty-one, the monster stones were useless. Also, if they were in possession of the monster stone, they could get killed by anyone who wanted to steal the stone.
“Then this would be the end of your debt.”
Kim Taehoon made the last announcement to the silent crowd, and took the orange stone—the mud troll’s stone— and immediately swallowed it.
“The monster stone…”
It was the gesture of completing the deal.
With this, Kim Taehoon became the owner of the hundreds of monster stones that were laying around Unit 1121’s base. He could sell them or eat them, it was up to him now to choose what to do with them.
Also, the remaining survivors didn’t have to feel like they owed their lives to Kim Taehoon anymore.
“This is a new proposal I’m making now.”
However, the fact that the survivors still needed that umbrella called Kim Taehoon hadn’t changed.
“I’m about to establish a clan from here on out. I will take volunteers to be in my clan, they would no longer be in the military.”
They were all surprised by the sudden proposal.
Lieutenant Kim Suji was also surprised.
‘What, what the!’
She automatically thought that Kim Taehoon would be the commander-in-chief in the military.
But he was going to make a private organization like this?
She could easily remember now. The conversation she had with her grandfather when she was accepted into the Korea Military Academy at the Army headquarters 5 years ago.
‘The one you just greeted is Maj. Gen. Jang Youngsung. After graduating, when you officially become a military personnel avoid him as much as you can, either publicly or privately. It’s never good to be involved with him.’
The first warning her grandfather Brig.Gen. Kim Jaeryong had given her when she became a soldier.
“What does ‘in a clan’ mean?”
“It’s a private organization that will follow my orders and be under my command, not the militaries”
“That means… You’re using the military for your own private interest?”
“If you call surviving a private interest, you can do that.”
Survive, Kim Suji couldn’t do anything other than shut up at that word. But she was thinking hard with her mouth shut.
‘Be in a private organization and leave the military? And are they using the military facilities? What crime is that? Desertion? Rebellion?’
‘But I can’t die like this. You have to take out guns, grenade, everything you can.’
‘But if I get caught…’
Accepting Kim Taehoon’s proposal was technically an illegal action. An Illegal action that could cause serious consequences. You really had to think about it.
But Kim Taehoon didn’t give them chance to think about it.
“If you don’t like my proposal, you can survive by yourself.”
With that being said, no one was against the idea anymore.
That was how the twenty-six of them, including Kim Taehoon, created the first clan in the Republic of Korea.
<Chapter 6. Establishment of a Clan (2).> The end.