< Chapter 12. The Messiah (3). >
Lee Jinsung, he was a cruel man. He also possessed the ability and a relic to make himself even crueler.
‘Something happened to the Master.’
‘We’ll be dead if we get there late.’
The power Lee Jinsung had was an absolute power to the awakened who had ability ranks at E or awakened who didn’t even know that they were one.
At the same time, he was a hope for them.
‘The f*cking Master cannot be in any trouble…’
‘We’re doomed without him.’
Because Lee Jinsung was the most powerful fighter they had against the monsters. He was also the only chance they had to finish off the yellow-eyed devil that was dominating the subway and kept requiring human sacrifices.
In this world filled with monsters like the yellow-eyed devil, he was a crucial figure for their survival. That was one of the reasons Lee Jinsung named the group as the Messiah, and it was one of the reasons his men were rushing to the superstore even though it could be dangerous in the snowstorm.
“Get the flashlights! Lights!”
Eleven awakened with their flashlights, who had just arrived at the site, started to enter the superstore. The first thing their flashlights lit upon was a corpse.
“F*ck, what the heck…”
The dead bodies of the non-awakened guards who had been hit by the grenade. Even to the awakened who had gone through many things already, the bodies were pretty horrific, although it was a different kind of horrific scene compared with what a monster would make.
‘Is, is that a gunshot wound?’
‘A bomb? But from where?’
The awakened became nervous and their bodies turned stiff. A few brave guys stepped forward between the dead bodies and puddles of blood with their flashlights held up.
The thing that took their bravery was a head. The bodiless head of Lee Jinsung. The bald scalp of his head reflected on the flashlight.
‘No, no way.’
They couldn’t even scream.
“Everyone put your flashlight on the ground, put your hands behind your head and kneel down.”
Suddenly, a voice came from the darkness.
“Who, who is it?”
“Where is it coming from?”
Nobody kneeled right away. Everyone was busy turning their heads trying to find the person who was speaking.
What alarmed them was the sound of a gunshot.
One guy whose flashlight flashed here and there collapsed to the ground with a single gunshot wound.
“My, my leg, my leg....”
“One person each time I speak.”
The voice was heard once again among the cries of pain.
‘You became a target with the flashlight!’
The clever ones or the ones with a better survival sense instantly put their flashlights down on the ground and put their hands on their heads and knelt down.
All eleven of the awakened lowered themselves to the ground as if they were domino blocks.
Kim Taehoon appeared in front of them. He was still in the dark and was wearing a black jacket.
Nobody could see how he looked since all the flashlights were blinking on the floor.
That made things even more terrifying. Without being able to see, you could only imagine.
On top of that, it couldn’t be a pretty image in your head right now.
While the awakened in their minds were imagining Kim Taehoon as a frightening devil, Kim Taehoon started to talk slowly.
“You have two choices. Turn around right now and leave, or work for me as a hunting dog.”
Everyone shivered at that announcement.
‘A hunting dog?’
Because it was at least clear that this guy did not come here to show hospitality or for justice.
“I know what the Messiah is like as a group. So you should not expect me to treat you as a human being.”
Everyone shivered once again.
When he said he knew what the Messiah were like, he meant he knew that they offered human sacrifices to appease monsters.
And everyone here knew what it was like to offer a living human as a sacrifice.
Regardless of whether they had a choice or not, it was to be expected after you treated other human being only as a prey, not as equal humans.
Their abilities had made them forget about it so far but now they had become the weaker ones.
Someone among them had to swallow their despair and sigh.
‘This would be the end.’
And someone was being clever.
“For, for real, is it okay to just walk out now?”
One guy asked.
“If you don’t want to work for me, suit yourself.”
Kim Taehoon answered right away.
“I, I will walk out then… And be silent.”
The guy who asked the question stood up.
His name was Jang Yeonsuk.
‘I need to get out of here. I will only be another expendable like a monster under him.’
He was the leader of the guards who kept an eye on the future sacrifices.
To be clear, a member of the leadership. He knew the Messiah, as an organization, better than anybody else in this room.
‘I will join the other guys near city hall then get things planned. That will be the first thing to do. I will be nothing if I stay here.’
The Messiah was expanding like a spider web with its center starting from Bucheon city hall.
They secured the food by occupying the superstore, recruited or kidnapped survivors who were coming to city hall and figured out the locations of undefeatable monsters then offered human sacrifices to control the monsters.
‘Twenty awakened will be on call in city hall.’
The numbers of awakened the Messiah recruited was not so small. It was around eighty!
Most of them were waiting to be called for in city hall since it held the most sacrifices.
On top of that, there were also a number of non-awakened who were ready to fight for the Messiah. To avoid being a sacrifice they had no choice but to be on the same side.
It was pretty obvious that going back to city hall was a safer bet than working for this strange dude as his hunting dog.
“Really, can I really leave like this?”
Hiding his intentions, Jang Yeonsuk asked Kim Taehoon the same question.
“If you don’t want to work for me.”
Kim Taehoon once again made a clear answer.
“Tha, thank you.”
Finally, Jang Yeonsuk turned around from where he was standing. He didn’t leave immediately and tried to see what was going on.
‘Is he really going to let me go?’
He was suspicious, but nothing seemed to be changing badly.
Jang Yeonsuk finally started to walk back to where he came from.
A bullet struck his back.
Jang Yeonsuk was shot, fell to the ground, and shivered with a short scream. Warm blood started to run down the floor from his body.
But nobody could see what happened.
‘Did Mr. Jang die?’
‘Sh*t, he wasn’t just letting him go?’
They could only feel the death of the guy who was once a colleague and a superior to them.
“Wasn’t this how Messiah operates? Cutting the head from the body after killing the enemy or betrayer?”
Kim Taehoon asked them a question one more time. But there was no answer to it. Nor any questions asked back.
“Then from now on the nine of you are my hunting dogs.”
The situation was complete.
[ The Sword of the Great General ]
- Relic rank: 2
- Relic value: Special
- Relic effect: It grows by the blood of the killed monster. The owner of the sword cannot be identified yet.
[ Flaming Spirit Shots Gourd Canteen ]
- Relic rank: 5
- Relic value: rare
- Relic effect: Change the Magic ability into flaming shots. Flames come out of the mouth while holding the sip of flame spirit in the mouth. With a greater Magic ability even to the awakened who had gone through many things already.
Kim Taehoon looked at the sword he was holding while checking the relic’s stats with the smartphone.
The sword of a great general.
The owner was unidentified.
But that didn’t matter much to Kim Taehoon. He wasn’t interested in historical artifacts nor did he have any knowledge of them.
‘It’s similar to the sword I saw in the dream.’
What was important was that although the sword was a different color, it looked the same as the one he saw in his dream.
‘The sheath was a different color, but the form is exactly the same as the one I saw in the dream.’
The dream that the golden glass of Napoleon had shown.
In that dream, Kim Taehoon had lots of weapons to fight against the dragon.
One of them looked very similar to the sword Kim Taehoon was looking at right now.
The sword Kim Taehoon was holding now had a red sheath, but the one he saw in the dream was blue. But the feelings he got from the sword was the same as the feeling he had in the dream.
If it was really the same sword that he saw from the dream, it would be a great achievement. It meant he received a weapon that was powerful enough to fight against the dragon.
But Kim Taehoon couldn't just be happy about it.
Nobody knew if this was planned already. What Kim Taehoon had seen was only a part of it, and he didn’t know the process to get there.
Even if this was the other way to get there, there was no guarantee that the outcome of the situation would change as well.
In addition to that, Lee Jinsung had given him some significant information before he died. It was an attempt to buy time, but the information he said was very significant and terrifying.
‘He said Bucheon got lucky.’
The man said Bucheon was in a very lucky position.
‘The surrounding areas are occupied by powerful monsters.’
He also mentioned the surrounding cities like Incheon, Kimpo, and Siheung were already taken by the monsters.
The powerful monsters settled at one place and enlarged their territories. But the place where the territories overlapped was relatively peaceful, Bucheon was the perfect example.
‘It could happen.’
The truth of it had not been verified but there were enough possibilities.
Monsters didn’t just destroy. What motivated them was the instinct for survival. It was their natural instinct to eat humans and destroy the human territories to survive.
Anyway, if Lee Jinsung was right, the possibility that the current situation would be worse than what Kim Taehoon imagined was pretty high.
‘Millions of casualty.’
The number of dead could be more than a few million.
‘It could be even closer to 10 million since it happened during the wintertime.’
The season they were in was the harshest season of the year. It would be tough for humankind to get through it without the technology they had developed.
‘China must be worse than this. Their casualty number would be a few 100,000,000.’
Since the Republic of Korea took this much damage, the larger populated countries such as China or India wouldn’t be able to count the number of casualties.
Kim Taehoon had a feeling of doubt. A doubt about the reality that was worse than his expectation, and that he would be walking into the face of death while other people would fight each other to survive in this new world.
“Um. I gathered everyone at one place. Sacrifices… I mean, the civilians too.”
One of the awakened of the Messiah approached Kim Taehoon and spoke to him with a quivering voice.
Kim Taehoon stood up as the guy spoke. His eyes got calmer and colder than before.
It was good to have plans for the future. No, he must focus on now. To make promising plans for the future what was important was now.
The Messiah was not under Kim Taehoon’s control yet and the remnants would never welcome Kim Taehoon with open arms. The civilian survivors as well, not everyone was treated as sacrifices. Everyone would have their own calculations in their mind, the guards and the sacrifices.
If you leave them as they were, they would only act for themselves.
They needed to have the bud of fear in their minds. So they wouldn’t think of anything else. Poor sympathy and mercy would mean nothing and was useless in this situation.
Kim Taehoon didn’t even know what those were anyway. He didn’t want to know either.
At the same time, they needed to be exposed to hope. For them to decide which side to join. What they should care about the most was the same as their life to survive in Bucheon.
Lee Jinsung, the head of Messiah also knew it full well. It was undeniable that his choices were inhumane. But this world does not take the standards of humankind anymore.
‘The Messiah made things easier.’
Kim Taehoon knew that better than Lee Jinsung. He had fought battles in a world that was almost equally indifferent to the human dignity even though he previously wasn’t fighting against monsters. And he had survived in that world before.
“Squeeze that eel-like feeling inside your stomach as if you were squeezing mayonnaise out. Like that.”
Three people including Kim Suji tried their best to squeeze the Energy out of their guts as Bhang Hyunwookd said.
“Squeeze it and send it to your fingertips and toes. Squeeze! What do you think? Easy, aye?”
While the awakened were getting trained to utilize their Energy ability under Bhang Hyunwook’s guidance, Ahn Sunmi was in the corner holding the Shot glass of Healing with her eyes closed. The glass started to fill up and Jang Sunghoon opened his mouth when the glass was about to overflow.
“Okay. Good. It’s full.”
Ahn Sunmi opened her eyes then poured the healing water into a thermos.
“Yeah, I’m the only one doing one.”
“I’d like to do the same but you’re the only one who can use the Magic ability like that among us! Should I sing for you instead?”
Ahn Sunmi closed her eyes instead of responding to Jang Sunghoon and focused herself on directing her magic ability into the Shot glass.
It was to prepare.
The people among the awakened who could utilize their Energy ability were trained to use the ability better. For Ahn Sunmi she tried to get as much healing water as possible while she could.
No one opted out since it was related to their survival.
At that moment.
Someone appeared. It was a soldier. A soldier who was standing guard and still had snow on his head and shoulders.
The training stopped.
“The Major sent someone.”
An envelope was immediately delivered to Kim Suji. She quickly scanned what was inside the letter and said to the people who were looking at her.
“Does anybody have any experience with working at a Sashimi place, or know how to cut sashimi?”
It was rather puzzling.
“Did he catch a tuna? Why does he need someone who can make a fillet out of a fish?”
Jang Sunghoon asked the question as if he were the representative for everyone.
Kim Suji spoke with a very still face. “The Maek clan is going to prepare ourselves for hunting the Yellow-eyed devil.”
< Chapter 12. The Messiah (3). > The end.