Chapter 2. The Mark of an Awakener, Part II
The monsters appeared at 4 p.m. and a fierce battle for survival began. The battle was over at 5 p.m., and the survivors were sleeping due to the fatigue and pain they were suffering.
At 10 p.m...
The survivors began to open their eyes, one by one. It was not, of course, that their eyes were open in a good or restful mood.
For the first time in their life, they had fought a life-or-death battle. But the fatigue caused by the battle could not be released by only three or four hours of sleeping all curled up, consumed and struggling to survive in the gap between life and death. Nevertheless, they woke up because they reached their limits.
"Has the rescue team not arrived yet?"
"Why the hell are our smartphones not working? Why are we like this? We pay the monthly fee for communication!"
"How long should we stay here? What happened out there?"
The worries and concerns about their current situation interfered with sleeping anymore, and as always, their disturbances woke up those still trying to sleep.
"What are you doing there?"
"Why are you raising the fire shutter?"
The starting point of the disturbance was in front of the fire shutter that blocked the escalator down to the first floor. There were four men in front of the fire shutter. Park Jae-woon was frightened and shouted at the men, at a similar age. The four people who seemed to be friends were alert to their surroundings and trying to lift the fire shutter.
"What are you doing, you idiots? What if there is a monster there?"
Park's reaction was intense. To him, the first floor was hell. It was mere hours ago that he had experienced a desperate thing that would be a trauma for the rest of his life. In fact, he was worried and concerned while looking at the fire shutters blocking off the first floor whenever he was awake. He was worried that monsters would appear through the fire shutters, threaten his wife and daughter again, and whether he should stop them again.
Now, four of them were trying to lift the fire shutters!
His cry to stop them was full of sincerity. Naturally, the cry caught the attention of the crowd.
"What is it? What's going on?"
"Oh, is the rescue team here?"
"I don't think it's a rescue team."
One or two, who were still tired, walked to a place where they could see the fire shutters. The disturbed atmosphere began to spread across the floor.
"Aw, fuck …" One of the four men, who caught the mood, hurled a curse.
"What are you looking at? What are you looking at?" The others showed a very nervous and sharp reaction towards the gaze of the crowd.
It was not difficult to figure out why.
"Isn't that . . . a MacBook?"
There were a lot of unwrapped Apple products in plastic bags around the four of them.
Theft! During all this chaos, the four of them were going to run away with the most expensive things here. They were caught stealing, and their reaction was not subtle.
"Shit, don't you turn your eyes!"
Eventually, one of them, the biggest and most bulky man, strode toward Park. Without any warning, he pushed both of his shoulders strongly.
"Ouch!" Park could not withstand the brute force and fell back.
"Honey!" His wife screamed at her husband falling down, and her daughter, who was sleeping in her arms, began to rub her eyes with her small hands at the disturbance.
"What's wrong with-" Park, who fell, rose up straight to try conversation. But as soon as he got up, the big man pushed Park once again. Harder than before. Harder than a push, so hard that calling it a slap was more appropriate.
"Huck!" Park fell back to the floor with a breathless sound.
"It's a fight."
The cluttered atmosphere quickly became fragmented with uncertainty, different from the sense of silence before.
"What do we do? Should we stop them?"
"If we get involved and get hurt…"
The silence was full of fear.
The four men glared around in the harsh atmosphere. Their eyes glistened with murderous spirit. They were not bluffing. They had seen blood, and not once or twice. They had stabbed a living monster with a knife, chopped down a lump of flesh with an ax, and swung a baseball bat to break a monster's skull. It was enough for a person to learn the murderous spirit.
"Did you see it? Did you see it?"
"It's really fucked. Don't you take off your eyes from us?"
Of course, none of the people in the crowd who were overwhelmed by that look could say "Stealing is wrong!" to them
"What the fuck are you talking about, man?" In front of the calmed crowd, the four's murderous spirit and hostility naturally shot toward Park and his family.
Dozens of people nearby became docile bystanders.
"I'm sorry, sorry . . ."
"What are you sorry about? Huh? Huh?"
"What? Tell me loud what you did!"
As soon as the spectators became the audience, the four men began to burn like angry fires. It was a hunch. They were predators here, on the second floor, a closed space. What they saw around them was not something that could threaten them, but something they could trample on.
"Hey, man. Get up. Get up."
There was no let-up.
Whack! When Park was about to get up, a man with a slim figure behind him kicked him like a soccer ball.
"Argh!" Park tried to get up, but he fell back to the floor with a scream.
"Daddy!" His daughter, who had finally opened her eyes, gave the biggest scream that she could from her young throat. "Daddy!"
One of the men saw Park's daughter and wife, smiled and headed toward the woman, a knife flashing in his hand.
"Oh, no! No." Park, who fell on the floor, saw that and threw himself toward the man approaching his wife and daughter. He threw himself forward and clung to the man's left leg.
"Er? Er?" Suddenly, the man who saw Park clinging to his leg was scared. Park's actions were the only desperate thing he could do, but the guy was different.
"Get off me! Get off me! Kill him!" It was more than a threat to himself. He had seen a lot already, how easily a human died. Of course, the remaining three people, except the man who was holding the leg, set out to take off Park.
"Let go of me! Let go of me, if you don't want to die!"
"Just kill him!" The men kicked and trampled Park.
"Huck, huck!" Every time they did that, a harsh breath came out of Park's mouth.
"What do we do?"
"Someone should come and stop them."
The crowd just watched the process with the frightened, disgusting expression.
In such a situation, Park's wife covered her crying daughter's face with her body, in order not to show something she did not want her daughter to see. Terrible things started to fill the second floor and the horror was no different from when the monsters around.
"Stop it, you bastards!"
Finally, a woman came out. A woman wearing a thick jumper, with impressive freckles around her nose, shouted out with a loud voice.
"Oh, someone else?" One of the men looked at the woman with a grim expression.
The woman, without fear of him, shouted with malice in her eyes, "If you're going to steal, be quiet and take off like a thief! Don't bother someone who isn't worth it!"
At the cry of the woman, one of the men, spitting on the floor, strode toward her.
The woman put her right hand on a knife, a hand engraved with a mark.
"Uh? Uh!" The man stopped walking. The other three also stopped.
"A knife, it's a knife!"
"She is a crazy bitch, kill her! Kill her!"
There was a strong reaction, but no violent action was taken. They'd already experienced how threatening a knife was. There was plenty of evidence. The blood stains around them, the pools of blood, all were evidence of the danger of a blade.
If there was a monster body, it would be more definite evidence. Unfortunately, however, there was nobody that could clearly convey that emotion at the moment.
"Stop all of them," a man spat this out.
"The four of you, if you move, I will kill you." The man who appeared in a bloody plastic apron took care of all the monsters.
Kim Tae-hoon returned.
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