The First Hunter

Chapter 19

<Chapter 7-2. Creating an Item (2).>

4.

Kim Taehoon was looking at a picture on a smartphone.

[Hobgoblin's Crystal]

  • When consumed, Magic rank increases.
  • When consumed, Magic Resistance rank increases.
  • When consumed, Acquire the Hobgoblin's ability [Hobgoblin's Intuition].

Kim Taehoon’s swiped the screen to the next picture.

[Hobgoblin’s Horn]

  • Hobgoblin’s horn possesses a magical power. When consumed, part of the power will be demonstrated.

Again, he swiped his finger to view another picture.


[Basic ability]

Strength: 69

Stamina: 45

[Special ability]

Energy: E

Magic: E+

Telekinesis: A

Defense: E

Magic Resistance: E+

[Acquired ability]

Dark Skin (Level 6)

Troll’s Vitality (Level 6)

Hobgoblin’s Intuition (Level 6): You can detect a stronger enemy’s existence earlier and more accurately.

Kim Taehoon looked away from the phone until he could see the mark on the back of his right hand.

He lifted his head up and looked around.

It was quite a large training ground, but he was able to see monster corpses covering the ground along with soldiers who were practicing to remove the hearts from the corpses. There were other soldiers who had finished with the training and were now smoking cigarettes with their bloody hands.

He could also hear them.

“Whoa, I never thought I would be dissecting a monster in my life. My hands are still shaky.”

“Me too, sir.”

“F*ck, this cigarette tastes freaking good because of all this bullsh*t.”

The soldiers’ faces were full of fatigue while they exhaled cigarette smoke.

“It was a really lousy day.”

“Was it really a day? I think your watch is broken, sir.”

“I can’t believe today is still January 1st. It feels like it’s been a decade.”

The day felt like an eternity.

You could also see the same traces on Kim Taehoon’s face as well.

‘A day passed.’

The sun you saw when you lifted your head, the sun which was about to set, Kim Taehoon couldn’t believe that the sun he’s looking at right now was the sun of the new year, 2017.

Whoa!

Kim Taehoon gave a brief sigh. The white breath he let out lingered in front of his eyes.

He could also see the lingering memories of the past since he hadn’t had any sleep for over 24 hours.

Many faces appeared. The faces that you could only see in memories.

Kim Taehoon’s face stiffened suddenly.

At that moment, one woman approached Kim Taehoon.

“We loaded the weapons into the dump truck, on the two army trucks, and in the four SUVs.”

It was lieutenant Kim Suji.

“Good work.”

Kim Taehoon made a short comment to her while sitting on a shoddy wooden bench. He didn’t look at her.

Kim Suji didn’t leave after his response but just looked at Kim Taehoon without saying anything. 

Kim Taehoon finally had to say something because of her stare.

“Say it if you have something to say.”

“May I ask what rank you are?”

“Major.”

“Ah.”

Kim Suji nodded yet was surprised.

‘A major?’

She didn’t know how old Kim Taehoon was. But he didn’t appear that old. Maybe in his early 30s.

That was why she was surprised.

At that age, to reach the rank of Major in the Korean army, a person had to go through an elite path in the shortest possible service time.

But still, that was only possible when the person did that elite path non-stop and ranked up without any pause. A person like that would already be famous within the military community.

You can be assured, if Kim Taehoon was in a normal promotion process for an officer, he could never have achieved the rank of major at that age.

That meant, everything that Kim Taehoon had done so far was outside the normal range.

“Would you be able to tell me your regiment if you don’t mind?”

“I was under Major General Jang Youngsung, It doesn’t matter to know more than that.”

“What do you meant it doesn’t matter?”

“There is no official documentation or records that exist. There’s no proof or evidence to whatever I say.”

“I don’t care about proof or evidence.”

Kim Taehoon lifted his head at Kim Sujin’s continual questions and looked at her. He could see her eyes were filled with determination.

‘Brig.Gen. Kim Jaeryong couldn’t have said anything good about Maj. Gen. Jang Youngsung…’

Her grandfather, Brig. Gen. Kim Jaeryong would be well aware what Maj. Gen. Jang Youngsung’s role was.

So he must have warned his granddaughter. Not to get involved with Major General Jang Youngsung. But the fact that she’s asking about him right now meant that she had made up her mind and was very determined.

Kim Taehoon saw Kim Suji as a perfect example of a good soldier. To a good soldier questioning his or her superior was almost a sin. Therefore, Kim Taehoon told her.

“I was in a secret unit that was created to assassinate or destroy organizations and individuals that were a threat to this country.”

His regiment.

“I’m in that regiment that doesn’t even have a name.”

That short explanation was enough. To picture what Kim Taehoon had done as a soldier in that unit.

It was also possible to guess why his rank was so high despite his young age. It meant that he had accomplished a lot of things as a soldier.

Nevertheless, Kim Suji could understand what her grandfather’s warning meant.

“Thank you for telling me.”

Kim Taehoon closed his eyes without saying anything.

As he closes his eyes, he once again saw the faces that were there earlier, the faces he could only see in his memories.

The faces were talking to Kim Taehoon.

You should survive, you have to survive, Sir please survive, please survive…

Kim Taehoon swallowed a bitter smile at those words.

‘I didn’t become a soldier to survive, but surviving became my only goal since then.’

Kim Taehoon’s mouth which had swallowed the bitter smile opened.

“Is that all of your questions?”

It seemed like Kim Suji thought this was her chance, she went ahead and asked another question.

“Why did you established a private organization, a clan? It seems like it wouldn’t have been a problem doing things as a military person?”

“You can’t just hunt monsters and ignore the country and its people by being a military soldier. But it wouldn’t be that much of a problem looking at what the Korean army had accomplished before.”

Kim Taehoon didn’t bother to add ‘It could be a true fraud for survival since they were disobeying the military spirit to survive.’ The meaning was clear without those words.

Then with great timing, an unwelcome guest appeared.

“Boss.”

Jang Sunghoon appeared, and Kim Suji looked at him with a stiff face.

It seemed like she didn’t like his appearance or the name he used towards Kim Taehoon.

“May I give you a suggestion?”

Jang Sunghoon didn’t pay attention to Kim Suji and went straight to his point.

“May I make armor with the monster skins?”

Kim Taehoon made a slightly surprised face.

“I didn’t come up with the idea. I was chatting with some other soldiers and they came up with it. Since the world changed like a game, maybe we could make items using the monsters as ingredients.”

You make items from monster remains in games, so they were curious if it would work in this reality and wanted to make armored items from monster skins?

It was nonsense.

“No, What are you…”

Reacting to the absurd idea, Kim Suji almost said something out of the blue

But Kim Taehoon didn’t feel the same way.

‘The Black Orc, its skin was very tough.’

The monsters’ strength was on a different level than that of beasts which already existed on this planet. Their skins could withstand bullets.

So that could be meaningful.

You could see that from humanity’s history. 

Humans were weak and they had to compensate for their weakness using other animal’s strengths. The venom from the venomous creatures, leather made from the skin of animals, the sharp teeth from a beast, they made tools and weapons out of those things and eventually survived.

Changing the source from those to monsters was nothing weird but a must for humanity to survive.

“What tools do you need?”

“To be honest, we can’t forge one crappy shoe with what we have now.”

“Then…”

“But there’s Ojeong-dong industrial complex right in front of the base. They could make nuclear bombs if they had the raw materials. It’s about a 20-minute walk from the base.”

And the tools were enough.

“Experts?”

What’s left were the experts.

“Would the naive rich kids who only knew how to spend money be in the military? The military is for the people who do rough sh*t out there by getting their hands dirty. It would be weird to have no one from the factory. Even if there was no one in the military then the complex might have some additional survivors. We can get help from them.”

Kim Taehoon nodded and stood up.

‘I guess it’s not the time for bed yet.’


5.

Making clothes out of beast skins was not something you could get done in a day.

Skinning itself requires very defined skills and exquisite tools. Even after skinning, the leather takes time and requires technique and chemicals to dry it out to make it processable.

So it was impossible to make the armor materials out of monster skin within a short period of time.

Kim Taehoon also wasn’t planning to leave the base right now.

They had to move altogether when they had to move. On top of that, the goblin skin’s value hadn’t been proven or that they would be able to make the armor materials out of it.

That was the key point. To figure out how valuable the goblin skins were.

Stab! stab!

“How is it?”

“Three layers make it hard for the knife to get through.”

“Three would be really thick. This wouldn’t let the goblin’s teeth go in?”

“But wouldn’t three be too heavy to move around in?”

“Well, our main weapon is the gun, right? I don’t think it would matter as long as you can aim.”

“Honestly this would be better than the bulletproof material. Monsters wouldn’t shoot guns at us.”

How tough a goblin’s skin was, how much value would the unprocessed goblin skin have as a defense material?

Kim Taehoon made the soldiers perform some experiments.

The first one to make a useful item was Ahn Suni.

“This is a pill made out of Hobgoblin’s horn, mud troll’s flesh and healing water from the shot glass of healing.”

Ahn Sunmi showed him a pill the size of a bottle lid and the picture of it on a smartphone.

[Effect]

  • Resistance towards fear slightly increases.
  • Recovery ability enhanced slightly.
  • Concentration ability enhanced slightly during battle.
  • Pain alleviated slightly.
  • Rapidly consumes ‘stamina’.

Ahn Sunmi had created an item from the monsters they had killed so far.

An item with great utility!

‘It’s an unexpected gain.’

A gun was a powerful weapon against the monsters.

If they were trained and directed properly one fully armed platoon could easily deal with hundreds of monsters like the goblins.

The problem was the fear that the bigger monsters emitted such as the Black Orc or the Mud Troll. Even the awakened were paralyzed under the influence of the fear.

The fear also wasn’t something you could resist with your mental health. Your Energy rank was important. With a high energy rank, you could resist, ignore or recover from the fear faster.

So even with the bigger military force, if they had a low Energy rank or someone who doesn’t have that rank at all, the fear would make them vulnerable. That was one of the reasons why Kim Taehoon was being cautious about those monsters.

But the pills that Ahn Sunmi concocted right now was like a savior.

What if this pill gives both awakened and regular survivors resistance, recovery, and tolerance to the fear?

‘It will vary from person to person, but if low ranked awakened or a regular survivor could resist against the fear with this, the strategy and the manpower available would be greatly increased.’

Of course, for a stronger effect, you have to get stronger monsters. Trial tests would also be required to figure out how strong the effect is according to the dosage.

But it was true that Ahn Sunmi had done a great job.

“You made a new drug, you should name the pill.”

“Huh?”

“You will be making similar things from now on, we will need a way to classify them.”

“I… do know that. I’m a doctor.”

The answer to Kim Taehoon’s suggestion came out of someone else’s mouth.

“Let’s call it Sunmi-pills after her name. It’s pretty straightforward.”

“Are you for real?”

Ahn Sunmi gave Bhang Hyunwook a dirty look.

Bhang Hyunwook changed the subject quickly to avoid Ahn Sunmi’s glare.

“Sir, wouldn’t it be a priority to name our clan first then the pill later? Or do you have a name in mind already?”

Kim Taehoon wiped his mouth with his hand at that question.

He hadn’t really thought about that part. What Kim Taehoon needed wasn’t a name for the clan, but something plausible that he could display other than the name of the military.

But like Bhang Hyunwook said, you can only call it a clan up to a certain point.

Whatever the group is, a name is very important.

“I have a good one. I’ve learned some Chinese characters before. How about Do (Road, 道) and Gwang(light,光), Dogwang to light the roads! What do you think?”

“Keep bullsh*ting.”

Ahn Sunmi tackled it right away.

“Then you got any good ideas?”

“It would be better to name it after a cigarette than giving it that sh*tty name.”

“Marlboro Clan?”

Ahn Sunmi didn’t even want to deal with Bhang Hyunwook anymore, so she turned her head the other way. The two of them looked like brothers and sisters. Siblings who often squabbled.

Kim Taehoon ignored Bhang Hyunwook too.

He didn’t know about anything else, but he clearly knew that Bhang Hyunwook’s ideas would not help in naming the clan.

Eventually, Kim Taehoon had to ask for help from a person who had the most literary attainments and archeological knowledge.

“A name for the clan? I forged someone else’s name before but never named something like a clan. Wouldn’t it be bad luck for the clan to be named by some art smuggler?”

Jang Sunghoon made a frightened smile at Kim Taehoon’s question.

“So what kind of name do you want?”

“What do you think would be good?”

“Usually the battling groups name themselves after mystical animals from the legends. Like a three-legged crow, Haechi, Maek. The four guardian animals are good though they are kind of cheesy. I like Zuzak[1]. Zuzak!”

“What are the traits of each one?”

“Well, It’s better to name it something easy to say. You can come up with the meaning after.”

With that being said, Kim Taehoon picked the word that he could connect to.

“Maek[2].”

It was Maek he chose.

“What’s the Maek’s character?”

“It’s different from the country, but it’s usually known as a nightmare eating mystical animal. Maek Clan, not too shabby. Then what is the Maek clan’s next destination? Industrial complex or…”

“We will be headed towards the Bucheon Sports Complex tomorrow morning.”

The Maek Clan’s next destination was the Bucheon Sports complex where the bow museum was located.


< Chapter 7. Creating an Item (2). > The end.




[1] Zuzak: The Vermillion Sparrow, representing Summer and Fire

[2] Maek: Also means pulse, the flow.

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