< Chapter 17. This is my territory (3). >
In a silent 5-story building, one guy was walking in the dark hallway of the building that had no lights. He was a scruffy man. Not to mention the fact that he looked like he never showered, his skin which appeared to been frozen and bit off amid the blistering cold made him look even more pitiful.
The man’s name was Kim Hyunsuk. He turned 26 this year.
But only a few months ago he was a man with a great physique and handsome face.
He had also been very excited getting everything ready for his upcoming trip to Europe in 2017.
But on December 31, 2016, everything about that changed. The new world began.
‘Why is this happening?’
It wasn’t exactly the world Kim Hyunsuk was waiting for.
The monster appeared out of nowhere, and then the whole world became hell.
The monsters fed on humans and especially enjoyed eating them alive.
Even the humans who survived were the same. Plunder, rape, arson…. Humanity also became monsters. There were also crazy people who practiced cannibalism.
It was not weird to think that it couldn’t get any more like hell than now.
But that thought easily changed with the appearance of an alligator with furry skin.
‘The world has ended.’
The giant alligators with furry skin, not one, not a dozen, but hundreds of them started to wipe out everything in front of them like a tsunami.
In the middle of them was a giant alligator nearly the size of two buses combined.
An absurd monster with yellow eyes that spurted huge flames out of its mouth.
Kim Hyunsuk was shivering even at the thought of the monster. He also recalled that he had peed his pants the moment he saw that monster.
‘This is the end. The world has ended.’
He felt an indescribable despair but at the same time, he also had the urge to get out of this hell.
‘It would be better than living like this….’
He thought about dying in this building without anyone knowing about it, peacefully.
Kim Hyunsuk started to think hard about it before making any tragic decision.
What made his hard decision stop was his nose which had become extremely sensitive because of the few days of starvation. A pleasant aroma tickled his nose.
It was coffee, a scent he had been used to smelling every day, but that he couldn’t smell anymore since the monsters arrived.
Without noticing, Kim Hyunsuk started to walk towards the smell. He stopped at an office place that before the monsters used to be a calligraphy academy.
Under the sunlight that was coming from the clear window in the office, one guy was enjoying a cup of coffee.
It was a very peaceful scene and that was why it felt so strange. To Kim Hyunsuk, peace did not exist in the world anymore. So he just froze after seeing the scene. His brain stopped working in front of this illogical scene.
What made Kim Hyunsuk’s brain wake up was the growls that his stomach was making.
The smell of coffee brought his appetite up after eating only balls of snow as a substitute for water.
Kim Hyunsuk, himself, was the one who got surprised the most by the big sound.
But the other guy was just looking at Kim Hyunsuk, quietly.
“H, Hey.” The only word Kim Hyunsuk’s brain could think of was one.
“Do, do you have anything to eat?”
He had no sense of shame to spare. It was such a long time ago that he had a proper meal. The only thing that he could call food was a smashed triangle Kimbab on the floor in an already raided convenience store. If he had any sense of shame that would be rather odd.
“Please…. Anything… Please..”
The guy was just looking as Kim Hyunsuk made his desperate request.
The guy’s cold look crossed with the desperate gaze of Kim Hyunsuk.
At that moment Kim Hyunsuk could figure it out. ‘Is, is he a monster? A monster in human form?’ That the man in front of him was also a monster that was not much different than the monsters he had seen before.
“You a survivor?”
“Where do you live?”
Kim Hyunsuk barely remembered the things he had to answer back with this sudden conversation.
“Gwangmyeong! That’s where I live. My name is Kim Hyunsuk. I’m 25…. No 26.”
At the answer, the guy pulled out a chocolate bar from the inner pocket of his jacket.
Kim Hyunsuk’s eyes got bigger.
“This is for the information. I’ll give you one more if you tell me what happened in Gwangmyeong, what you’ve seen and what you’ve heard.”
“They are about 3 meters in length, and have a similar appearance to an alligator but instead of thick leather, they have fur like a wolf. They also formed a pack like wolves.”
Kim Taehoon looked at the crowd after finishing a brief explanation about the newly appeared monsters.
Kim Suji, Yang Junghwan, Lee Sooyoung and Jang Sunghoon. The four of them were frozen solid while looking at their own smartphones.
“And it’s this one that is in the middle of the pack.” Kim Taehoon added.
The four of them looked at the picture they received on their phones. There was a giant wolf-gator that was so huge, it couldn’t be compared to the normal wolf-gators.
In the other picture, that creature was spurting fire out of its mouth.
It was the leader of the wolf-gator pack, a flame spurting wolf-gator.
“Also between the leader and the others, they have a middle-boss wolf-gator. You cannot differentiate that one by appearance except it has orange eyes. The red and the orange are different levels.”
The middle-boss one did not leave much of an impact compared to the flame wolf-gator.
“The pack of more than 400 consisting of 3 types of monsters are moving towards Bucheon.”
Kim Taehoon looked around as he finished talking.
No one dared to open their mouth to speak while looking at Kim Taehoon.
‘It’s a totally different type than the black snake before….’
‘The pack is more than 400, sh*t we almost died dealing with one black snake….’
‘There must be some sort of damage as they come into the city.’
‘Let’s say one of them eats a half of human a day, it would be 2,000 people dead in 10 days. Bucheon was lucky. Gwangmyeong wouldn’t have any people left in it.’
They knew there was a yellow level monster moving towards Bucheon. So Kim Taehoon went out for the reconnaissance.
But they did not know that the yellow level would be the leader of a giant pack, not a single creature.
The situation was completely different from the one with the black snake.
That’s why they were speechless. They did not have time to say anything because they were thinking very hard to come up with an idea to get through this situation.
“Any questions or opinions?”
Kim Taehoon rushed them.
It worked. To everyone here, Kim Taehoon’s words were more important than anybody else’s.
“It seems like the solution to get rid of multiple monsters would be the fire combat.”
It was Kim Suji who started to present the opinion first.
“How many firearms have we secured?”
“We are continuously carrying the ammo from the ammunition company. Thanks to that we have enough. The problem is we are short on guns.”
Kim Taehoon turned his head towards Lee Sooyoung.
It was her job to get the weapons including guns from Division 17.
“We’re trying to figure out the best route.”
But she currently wasn’t able to get any weapons from Division 17 yet.
“As you know, it is pretty far, and it cannot be done in a short period of time since we have to go over a mountain.”
There were lots of reasons. The biggest one was the distance. It was far, and they had to climb up and down a mountain.
And it was a job of carrying weapons. They wanted to bring out a tank but the roads wouldn’t be available for that.
Therefore she was trying to secure a consistent, safe route to supply the weapons. Getting rid of the cars on the roads, killing the monsters nearby. it was a job that was time-consuming.
“I know it all sounds like excuses. If you want, I will speed things up by taking more risks.”
But she was ready to take the risks since the situation changed.
The monsters that were approaching, wolf-gators, could not be dealt with without taking risks.
Kim Taehoon gave her a week of time.
“We’ll try to stop the wolf-gators from coming near so secure as many weapons and ammunition as you can.”
Jang Sunghoon spoke right away.
“How are you planning to get a week? Their speed tells us that they are going to be in Bucheon in 2 days at the most. They could come to Bucheon city hall on their 3rd day.”
It was definitely not an easy job holding a pack of 400 wolf-gators for a week. A pack that was rushing like a bunch of bulldozers with great speed.
If anyone had any solution, it would be something that would make everyone amazed.
“I will be facing them alone.”
“What are you…”
Everyone was stunned by what Kim Taehoon said.
Jang Sunghoon asked with a face saying ‘No way?’, Kim Taehoon just nodded without any answer.
The four of them were dumbfounded once again.
“Major, you can’t face a group of 400 monsters that includes a yellow level one alone even for you….”
“Lieutenant is right. Even for you, you can’t…”
Kim Suji and Jang Sunghoon tried their best to stop Kim Taehoon with their worrying faces on.
If his decision was made out of his pride and arrogance, the result would be terrible. But Kim Taehoon did not make this decision out of pride and arrogance.
“Capturing a bigger crowd by guerilla warfare with the smallest armed forces possible.”
It was rather the opposite. It was a cool-headed decision and he had no choice but to make the decision.
“That’s my specialty.”
Because that was what Kim Taehoon used to do.
“And there’s no way I would be defeated in a street battle.”
On top of that, the cities were built by humans for the humans. It wasn’t for the monsters.
“Any other opinions?”
Everyone just shut their mouths at Kim Taehoon’s confidence.
A giant alligator put its giant head inside the door of a building. The alligator looked weird. Its body was about 3m long and its appearance was as the same as normal alligators except its skin had fur on it, like a wolf.
Its longer legs than what an alligator usually had gave it a fast speed and sneaky steps.
Those traits worked perfectly right now. The footsteps of the alligator walking into the building were really quiet compared to its gigantic body.
The sound of its long tongue coming out of its jaws was the biggest noise it was making.
It licked the red blood on the floor and its red eyes started to glow because the blood still had some warmth in it. Since it still contained the warmth in this cold winter it meant this blood puddle was made not long ago.
When this logic went through its head, the wolf-gator started to follow the blood trail without any hesitation.
Like Hansel and Gretel followed the breadcrumbs in fairy tales. But the thing that was waiting for the gator was not a bleeding prey but a human who was holding a silver thermos with blood dripping out of it.
The wolf-gator flicked its tongue in and out looking at the human. It was excited to see a living prey after such a long while.
It was the gator’s last movement.
With a terrifying sound, the wolf-gator’s head ended up rolling on the floor. With its tongue sticking out.
The sword that cut the head out of the wolf-gator went back into the sheath of the guy who was still holding the thermos, Kim Taehoon.
At the same time, Kim Taehoon put the warm blood that was coming out of the wolf-gator’s body in the thermos.
The warm blood filled the bottle up and Kim Taehoon closed the lid. Then he cut open the stomach of the alligator and removed the monster stone out of its heart, and ate it.
The finale of the hunt was updating the number of wolf-gators he caught today.
‘Is the eleventh today.’
Eleven, when he thought about that number a memory from 2 years ago came to the surface.
Kim Taehoon was in Syria 2 years ago.
When IS appeared on the ground of Syria amidst its chaotic civil war, a few countries of the world sent their special troops to Syria to go against IS.
Kim Taehoon and his men were among those troops. They were disguised as mercenaries and received missions to work on.
The mission was like this.
Kill as many IS agents that were located in the city as possible. The objective was to earn time for other people to accomplish their mission by holding down the IS agents by threatening them with their colleague’s death.
Kim Taehoon accomplished the mission brilliantly.
To put it in other words, he killed a lot. To the point where the IS agents called Kim Taehoon a monster despite the fact that they didn’t even know his name.
‘It’s not so different from then.’
What Kim Taehoon was doing right now was not very different from what he was doing in Syria 2 years ago.
He was killing the wolf-gators that were scouting or hunting outside of their pack, one by one. And that was pretty effective.
If they were a simple monster pack, this wouldn’t have been noticed.
But the wolf-gator pack was better than that. They had a command system.
Also, they were moving was forced by the green monster’s movement. They had to be cautious about the change of their surroundings.
The number of the gators that were put into scouting increased, and as a consequence, the speed of the pack decreased.
That showed they were being alert. But it was just an alert, not fear.
To make them stop for real, it was necessary to give then the fear. Like he had done in Syria 2 years ago.
In the end, Kim Taehoon would be telling the wolf-gator pack and its leader even though they couldn’t speak.
That this was my territory.
< Chapter 17. This is My Territory (3). > The end.
 Korean Rice Bulb
 IS: alt name for ISIL https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_State_of_Iraq_and_the_Levant