< Chapter 13. Territory Dispute (2). >
‘Thanks to Jang Sunghoon, I’m relieved of a headache.’
Kim Taehoon once again mentally reorganized everything.
Now the awakened of the Messiah had become Kim Taehoon’s hunting dogs.
From now on, the awakened had to give Kim Taehoon 40% of what they hunt.
Of course, Kim Taehoon had to provide them a safe hunting place.
It did not stop there.
When Messiah’s awakened followed Kim Taehoon’s lead, the other survivors would naturally follow as well. The only method they had to fight against the monsters were firearms, but Kim Taehoon and Maek Clan owned them all.
But it was not perfect.
‘The problem is, he’s not the only smart guy.’
Not everyone was satisfied with this system and the system would not be able to completely control everyone. There must be a group of people who were trying to come up with a backup plan, and there would be smart people among them.
The problems would come in many forms. People would die, and someone who caused the problem may also die for that. That kind of serious problem might also occur.
Jang Sunghoon also knew well about it. That’s why Jang Sunghoon said this was crucial.
‘Gotta get the Devil snake.’
The corpse of the devil snake. It would be the most powerful symbol and shield.
With Kim Taehoon killing the devil snake, everyone who survived would be in debt to Kim Taehoon and carry the sense of duty to protect him for their own survival.
‘I just have to kill that one.’
That’s why Kim Taehoon’s thoughts were not too complicated.
What he needed to do was clear.
“Boss, Boss! Finally got the video! We got it!”
It was just that doing it that wasn’t so easy.
The world after the snowstorm was covered in white and it was the only thing could be seen. The other terrible traces of what happened in the last few days was covered by snow and couldn’t be seen anymore.
If you flip that statement, everywhere that wasn’t covered by the snow still had the horrendous scene from the past few days.
The station of Sinjung-dong was like that. The shiny wall and clean floor were nowhere to be seen as if a pack of buffalos had run through it.
A giant snake was passing by that station.
The snake had black scales on its body that were even darker than the darkness of the station. But it was too big to call it a snake.
It wasn’t just a big snake.
The scale and its skin were incredibly sturdy and strong compared to a regular snake.
Pow pow, as soon as the monster touched the wall while passing by, the wall started to crumble down like a waterfall.
What stopped the crumbling was the mountain-sized pile of human corpses.
The snake started to dart its tongue in and out but did not start to eat right away. Instead, it tasted one of the bodies with its whip-like tongue.
It backed off looking much like a young kid who was picky about the food on the table.
The snake decided to ignore the pile of bodies and moved to leave the station to find something warm-blooded, not a cold dead body.
The sun started to shine on its head when it exited the stairs from the subway.
The upside-down triangle-shaped head was revealed, as well as the set of yellow eyes on the head. The word golden might have described it better than yellow. The eyes were that beautiful, but no one could dare to think of that beauty because the eyes were saying, any beast would be just like a tiny mouse in front of these eyes.
Under the bright sunlight, the scar on the snake’s strong body was also revealed.
The snake did not intend to stop there and its whole body started to be revealed from the darkness.
A cold wind blew.
That wind stopped the snake from moving forward. It turned around due to the cold wind.
The snake went back into the station and started to swallow the bodies as they were one by one.
The pile of bodies was gone just like that, leaving only a surveillance camera that was silently working.
Everyone who was watching the video instantly got frozen solid. It was a very low quality and dark video. In that darkness, the snake could vaguely be seen, but the figure in the video overwhelmed everyone who was watching it.
It was that terrifying.
‘God, we gotta kill this thing? No way. It’s nothing like we have dealt with before! It’s a monster that has nothing compared to the Black orc!’
“We can’t do it. We can’t.”
The first person who spoke was Bhang Hyunwook. Shaking his head, Bhang Hyunwook’s eyes were trembling as much as the first time he encountered the monsters.
Jang Sunghoon also got his mind straight to Bhang Hyunwook’s voice. His face stiffened as soon as he came back to the reality.
‘This was my misjudgment. I didn’t think it would be that horrific… I thought it would be possible to win with all the firearms we have like grenades and claymores plus the telekinesis the boss has…’
It was Jang Sunghoon who was claiming that they should kill the devil snake. No, it should be more like the whole plan Jang Sunghoon had made was based on Kim Taehoon hunting the devil snake.
He automatically thought there was enough of a chance to win.
It was Kim Taehoon, no one else. He had telekinesis. Telekinesis was such a great ability to have with the combination of firearms such as guns and bombs.
It would be a 100% hit rate if he would control the grenade with his telekinesis. Moreover, the clan now had pretty strong firearms including grenades, submachine guns, and claymores which were way more powerful than rifles.
They wouldn’t be able to kill something like a dragon, but wouldn’t that be more than enough to kill a giant snake?
‘I was wrong. This one is not the one we can kill now.’
But the snake was nothing close to his expectations.
Kim Taehoon trying to hunt that thing down was same as a big mouse trying to go after a cat.
You might only get bitten if you were lucky, but you would eventually become the tasty dinner.
“Boss, let’s give up on this one for now. It seems like it does not like the cold weather judging by its behavior, so we should keep feeding it with dead bodies…”
Jang Sunghoon had to change the plan.
But Kim Taehoon did not answer to Jang Sunghoon’s hasty decision. Instead, he replayed the video inside his head. The video from the camera they set up near the entrance just in case the snake came out to the sun for a while.
He recalled the body of the snake from that video.
‘Its skin should not be compared to that of the black orc’s.’
The skin of the devil snake would be incomparably stronger and tougher than the black orc’s skin.
It wasn’t a vague assumption.
The subway station which was destroyed now was very dangerous. Going around it with a bare body was the equivalent of walking through thorn bushes nude.
It wouldn’t make a deep wound, but it would leave some cuts.
But the devil snake’s body was free of any type of wounds even though it had stayed in the destroyed subway station for at least a few days. Its body was as clean and beautiful as a crafted glass item.
But that body had a clear scar on it.
‘The sword works.’
It was evidence that the Sword of the great general, the masterless blood-lusting sword worked on the devil snake’s body.
‘The conditions themselves are actually better than the black orc.’
On top of that, the weapons Kim Taehoon could utilize against the devil snake were more diverse. The power of the Sunshin’s arrow and the Sword of the great general was not questionable. They also had enough firearms.
On top of that, Kim Taehoon could choose where to fight this time. It wouldn’t be a sudden, unexpected battle, but a well prepared, well-trained battle wherever he wanted.
That was definite. The situation was much better than when he fought against the black orc.
But there was one thing. ‘Only if I could use my telekinesis better.’ Kim Taehoon’s ability to use everything he could pull out from the situation.
If Kim Taehoon was capable of doing so, there was no reason to fail this hunt for devil snake.
“Jang Sunghoon, how much time can we spare?”
Jang Sunghoon gasped.
“You’re not going to do it, are you?”
The spare time Kim Taehoon was saying was the time they had before the other awakened started to initiate their backstabbing plans.
“Boss, we can’t do this. Just can’t!”
Jang Sunghoon tried to stop Kim Taehoon once again.
“How many days do we have?”
Jang Sunghoon had to answer the question since Kim Taehoon was repeatedly asking the same question.
“I never majored in psychology… We will be getting the monster stones offering from them once a week from now on. They will probably hand some over to us without any doubts once. No, they would hand it over to us to not look suspicious but if we don’t do anything until the second week, they will start to suspect us.”
The world was still unstable. If people started to lose hope and trust in Kim Taehoon, a few of them would act out on it. That would be the start of the collapse of the system.
“First offering would be in three days, and if you add one week to that we have about 10 days, correct?”
“That would be the maximum limit. No, not the limit. They would be alarmed but if we explain it well…”
Even though he was saying it wasn’t the limit, but Jang Sunghoon could only imagine the worst things in his head after that 10 days.
‘The thing does not like the cold. But on the contrary, it would not even look at the dead bodies once the weather gets warmed up. Then we have to offer human sacrifices… that would be the end.’
The only thing that could control the devil snake were the living human sacrifices. To earn more time they had no choice to repeat what Lee Jinsung had done before, but that was the worst thing to do.
And Kim Taehoon knew better about it than Jang Sunghoon.
“What they want is not an explanation.”
That the patience of the hunting dogs was not so important.
“We will start the training for hunting the devil snake.”
“The most important thing is for you to stay in bed. Don’t do too much of anything.”
“Tha, thank you. Thank you for saving me.”
Ahn Sunmi made a bitter smile on her face while looking at the guy who kept bowing to her.
‘In bed, that’s some bull sh*t. Who could stay in bed in this world?’
A woman walked next to her.
“Doctor, we have an emergency patient. The patient was bitten by a monster. Must be an awakened.”
The woman introduced herself as a nurse a few days ago when she joined the Maek Clan.
Now she treated patients with Ahn Sunmi and she called Ahn Sunmi a doctor.
But it wasn’t just her. Ahn Sunmi was actually doing her job as a doctor.
“Where is this patient?”
First of all, it was what she wanted. It was the only talent she had to save her life.
It was also an important talent for the Maek clan as well.
The world no longer had proper medical services anymore. Sometimes they had to risk their lives to get first aid kit and emergency drugs. People died from having no fever reducers or antibiotics. It was a tremendous advantage to have proper medical services to go to when they were wounded and not feeling well.
“Ahh… please, please save me, please…”
“What kind of monster bit you?”
“The f*cking mon… I mean, the monkey dog. “
“Was Is it only your arm that was bitten?”
To humankind whose only goal had now become to survive, their lives were the only thing they had.
Insurance, health insurance didn’t matter anymore. If it was required to give up everything you had for the price of your life, they had to.
It was more likely to be like that with the awakened.
“Yeah? Oh yeah, just the arm.”
Ahn Sunmi’s eyes were already on the patient’s right arm on the bed. The wound was severe. It might have been better to amputate it since they had no proper medical facility.
“Get the tools.”
But Ahn Sunmi checked the wound and went directly to treating it.
“Brush and knife.”
She didn’t even ask for a scalpel or scissors but asked for a brush and knife.
That was a questionable behavior. But then, she dipped the brush into the healing water she produced and applied it to the patient’s wound. She then scooped some mud troll’s flesh with the knife and applied it on the wound.
The severe wound started to heal at great speed.
“It will be 8 monster stones for that.”
The treatment was done instantly, then the check out process began.
“Oh okay. Here…”
The person who looked like the patient’s colleague paid 8 red monster stones as the fee.
When the treatment was done in next to no time, the people who were waiting for their turn made a surprised face at the patient who was left with just a clean scar and without a painful face.
Jang Sunghoon appeared amid the silence.
“Sister, how did you do today?”
Ahn Sunmi made a sour face to that.
To her, Jang Sunghoon was like a little brother who just got into college. No sister makes a happy face to see her brother.
“We found the mud troll. It looks more like a mud troll nest. There are at least three of them we confirmed. It made the 500 household apartment complex a giant tomb for headless bodies. Thanks to that the goblins and orcs were rushing into it to eat the bodies, so it will take some time to take care of that.”
“You came here to tell me that?”
“No way. I’m here to hear some stories. So what happened?”
Ahn Sunmi spoke back with a rigid face.
“Nothing. There wasn’t anything special anywhere in the body.”
It was about an autopsy. The autopsy of the awakened.
The awakened would get stronger as they consume the monster stones. Then, would the awakened also have monster stones in their hearts?
Everyone had that question in their minds but nobody had the chance to quench the curiosity. They never received a corpse of an awakened who continuously consumed monster stones.
With that being said, Lee Jinsung and his people’s bodies were the answer to that question.
They did perform the autopsy. But there was nothing.
Monsters left stones when they died, but the awakened did not leave anything.
“Humankind still only know how to spend, not how to leave anything behind. Even in the new world.”
Ahn Sunmi threw the sling bag in which she had just put the monster stones to Jang Sunghoon while he was speaking.
“Uh, what about it?”
“Give it to Boss.”
“But you earned it?”
“It would only be a waste if I consumed them.”
“Boss suddenly became a pimp now. You and Lieutenant, you guys are both giving him the things you earned… So the strong guy is the guy of this world huh. But there would be competitions… No. It doesn’t have to be monogamy if that’s the case, so it would be more like who’s the first wife?”
Ahn Sunmi asked a question right away to stop Jang Sunghoon’s silly talk.
“So how’s the boss now? Can he really kill the monster?”
Jang Sunghoon made a slight smile on his face.
“We’re very lucky. Truly.”
< Chapter 13. Territory Dispute (2). > The end.