Chapter 1. At a Large Supermarket, Part III
The food corner on the second floor of the large supermarket...
"Argh!" This place where visitors were greeted with various kinds of food, was now a battlefield filled with screams, monsters, and blood.
"Surround that Goblin! Surround it!"
Clang Clang! Four men rushed toward the three Goblins, dwarf monsters with green skin. The only common feature of the four men, who were all different in age, attire, and shape, was that they each had a crude spear made of a knife, curtain rod, and insulated tape. The four men used the long reach of the spears, to stab the Goblins' bellies and eyes.
"Kieee!" the Goblins screamed, and one of them slipped to the floor and fell.
As soon as the Goblins fell, a baseball bat suddenly hit its head like an ax. The baseball bat crushed the Goblin's head like clay, and the Goblin went limp on the floor, spilling blood from its eyes, nose, and mouth.
"Uhhhh-cha!!!!" Bang Hyun-wook, the owner of the baseball bat, screamed out, rushing straight towards the Goblin in front of him. The Goblin's face was cracked in half. The bat had smashed it precisely between its nose and the brow, and of course, the two red eyes of the Goblins near it were not safe either. The eyeballs had burst like eggs. But the pain and despair never made it scream. Instant death!
All the Goblin could do was to shiver like a dead body.
'I am full of energy!' Bang was sure at this moment. 'If I'm in this condition, I could hit a home run in the Major Leagues!'
The strange power that started from his stomach and flowed to the ends of his arms was not an illusion. The conviction was charged with courage.
"Come on! Come on!" He cried out loudly as if he hoped all the monsters in the food corner on the second floor of the basement would find him and come to him. But there was no monster coming toward him.
Hammer! The last monster on the second basement floor, a monster called an Orc, with gray-brown skin and nearly two meters tall, was just dead. The cause of its death was a traffic accident. The fork of a forklift was pierced through its chest, and stuck in a wall, leaving it hanging there.
Kim Tae-hoon, the perpetrator of the terrible accident, came down from the forklift, and at the same time he pulled out the smartphone he had in his pocket.
At that moment, the lights that lit the second floor turned off at the same time with a bizarre sound.
"I can't see anything!"
During the confusion that followed, the light emitted by the smartphone revealed Kim's face. His expression was not good.
'No communication.' No communication at all.
It was a factor that caused him to turn on another warning light in his head.
The end of a battle was always bleak. There was no cheering. The sense of relief of being alive took away the power of the whole body, the power to spit out gossip or even complaints. At the same time, the fatigue that has not been recognized in the extreme situation was doubled.
Pain also came with fatigue. There was no difference between the one hundred and two survivors who lived through the death fight against the monsters on the second floor of the large supermarket. Everyone just sat down on the floor.
Some of them sat back against the shelves, or simply fell asleep lying on the floor, stunned. The emergency lights that began to come on as the emergency generator started to operate prompted them to sleep even faster.
If there was no light at all, they would not fall asleep in fear, but this gentle light gave them relief.
There was one more element of relief here. Fire shutters! The sense of relief from the fire shutters that completely blocked all the entrances and exits on the second basement floor was incredible.
Only one person did not relax. 'The monsters suddenly appeared.'
Kim was not relieved, even the battle was over. On the contrary, now he was much more nervous than the moment he had first met the dwarf monster, which he called a Goblin for his convenience.
Once the battle began, he did not put any elements other than fighting in his mind. They could be considered after the battle.
In other words, after the battle was over, he began to consider the elements outside the battle. Now he realized something.
'The monsters suddenly appeared.' The appearance of monsters, obviously, was an event outside common sense. However, there were factors other than common sense that were important.
'If they had come through the second floor or the first floor, at least I would have felt them first.' The monsters appeared suddenly. There were two ways to enter this large supermarket where he was. One way was to come through the ground floor, and the other way was through the subway station connected to the second basement floor.
If the monsters came in from outside, those on the first basement floor in between should have noticed the emergence of the monsters before encountering them. But no one noticed them, and even he did not notice them.
'Even though I took a year off, I am on active duty.' If his senses were so dull that he could not see the monsters coming to the first basement floor through the ground floor or from the second basement floor, he would have been retired from active duty.
'It's obvious I didn't see anything… These monsters didn't come from the road. They came out of nowhere. Monsters appeared without any restrictions on space.
'It is useless to build a wall, and it is useless to hide in a bunker.' The worst situations that could be assumed in his mind began to pass by quickly.
'It could be worse than the worst.' He felt chills run down his spine as his imagination took hold.
"Big brother." Bang stopped Kim's imagination. The appearance of Bang, who had taken off his baseball jumper and baseball cap, was quite different from what Kim first saw.
First of all, his hair was very short and was close to being shaved. His appearance was unexpectedly naive, and the big eyes reminded him of deer eyes. He was fairly big, as he unzipped his jumper. It was a feeling of well-grown rather than simply overgrown.
"I brought the coffee you had asked for."
When Bang handed the canned coffee in his hands to Kim, Kim noticed that he did not take off his bloody batting gloves. He put down the coffee that he had received on the floor. He was going to take off his gloves and drink some coffee.
Bang sat down in front of Kim and said, "Big brother, do you know what's going on?"
Looking at Bang asking the most curious question, Kim said while taking off his left-handed gloves, "If I'd known this would happen, I wouldn't have been here today."
"Haha, I see." Bang, who laughed awkwardly, gave a long sigh and said again, "A lot of people died. A lot of -"
"There are a hundred and two survivors." Considering the number of customers who visited this large supermarket at the end of the year, it was not a small number but a terrible number. Not everyone died, of course; most of them ran away the moment the incident broke out, through the subway station on the second basement floor, or through countless exits on the ground floor.
But even considering that, the number of dead people was high. Right now, the number of people who had been killed on the second floor was as high as that of the survivors, with more than a hundred dead. It was a huge number. Even in a severe accident, it was unusual for more than a hundred people to die.
"They died because they didn't fight." However, Kim did not have a big question about this terrible fact. Regardless of the number of monsters that appeared, only a handful of people fought back against monsters until he took part. Naturally, this was the result. It was like that.
A hundred adult men, armed with a knife or a baseball bat, might be able to kill a lion even if a few people died. But if they ran away, they would never kill a lion. Moreover, Goblins and Orcs were not simple beasts.
'They were gathering in groups.' They formed packs and cooperate. They were like wolves, hyenas, and humans. In addition, the efficiency of herd hunting was great, and the history of none other than the humans who survived showed why.
Kim was the main factor why a hundred and two people survived. If it had not been for him, they wouldn't have been able to kill Goblins or Orcs on the second basement floor.
"Is that so?" Bang did not understand Kim's words directly, only vaguely. It was clear that he survived because he fought without running away, and it was obvious that if Kim had not been there, the damage would have been even greater.
"Anyway, what will happen in the future? Or should we stay here? This is a food section, so if we're going to stay here, we can hold on. If the fire shutter had not kept us on the ground floor ... it would have been terrible."
At Bang's question, Kim took off the gloves in his right hand, instead of answering. At that moment, he could see a black mark engraved on the back of his right hand, a mark that reminded him of the sun, as if it were blazing.
'This?' He found the mark of an Awakener.
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