Chapter 4. Relic, Part I
Kim Tae-hoon was shopping at the large mart. Chocolate, salt, almonds, jam, jerky … Of course, it was not strange to buy such items at the food corner on the second floor of the large mart.
It was getting closer to 2 AM., and most of the shelves had fallen like dominoes, so he had to pick the goods up from the floor and put them in a bag, not a plastic shopping cart.
But he had to add one more thing here, he wasn't going to pay for them at the counter. In other words, he was now doing the most bizarre shopping in the world.
"What's your future plan?" Ahn Sun-mi was following him and started a proper conversation with him while he was pondering between the five kinds of coffee beans in front of him.
Instead of answering her question, he grabbed coffee beans that had been torn apart and chewed them finely. After savoring the coffee beans, he replied, "I'm going to leave here as soon as possible, and the remaining survivors should try to fend for themselves."
"I can see that, just by looking at what you are doing."
"Well, you just need to know what you see."
"No, I'm curious about what you're planning in the future, where you're going if you leave, how you're going to move, what's the purpose..."
He looked at her before she stopped talking. A cold eye dug into her gaze.
Her words stopped by themselves.
His eyes were just beyond the cold level, and there was something there that ordinary people could not have.
There was something special, something so obvious that even Ahn, who had a job as a doctor, that knew the boundaries between life and death better than anyone else, could not fight.
"You love to wonder, but I have no reason to tell you about my plan."
After he replied, Ahn kept her mouth shut.
He continued, "What I need is a person who will obey my orders, not a parasite that will cling to my body for safety."
Offended, Ahn's closed mouth opened reflexively. "A parasite?"
"If there is some give and take, it's like a crocodile bird, and of course there's no crocodile bird in reality."
At that moment, Kim held out his right-hand palm before Ahn spoke. Ahn had a blank look on her face. He turned his hand over. His right-hand mark appeared. When he turned his hand over again and showed his palm, she pulled out her smartphone and unlocked it, showing him a picture.
- Strength: 11
- Health: 14
- Mana: C+ Rank
- Mana Resistance: C+ Rank
- Defense: F Rank
Kim spoke after confirming her ability through the mark of an Awakener on her right hand, "Be a survivor or a subordinate to me. Choose one of them clearly."
It was then that Ahn thought of something.
Kim was fighting a desperate battle with the Black Orc, but she ran away with his subordinate, Bang Hyun-wook. That was the reason. His bias against Ahn Sun-mi was due to the actions she showed at that time.
'Her Mana rank is C+ and she is in her third year of residency as a doctor. Once she becomes a colleague, she will become a powerful member.'
He wasn't going to retaliate for what she had done. He could fully understand her behavior of at that time. She was not his colleague or subordinate then, but a survivor, and she showed the courage to escape at that moment.
It was embarrassing to have run away with Bang, but it was also clear that it was a wake-up call for Bang. But to the extent of it, it's was understandable that she was a survivor. If she did such a thing in the situation where she was his subordinate, he would never forgive her.
'Troops running away from the battlefield where the battle is real were more dangerous than the enemy.'
Anyway, Kim had now handed the choice to Ahn. Now the decision was hers. She could become a survivor, and just break up with him and go her own way. Or, she could be his subordinate and obey him and move along with him.
"What are the conditions I need to be your man?"
Ahn bit her lip slightly. "Okay. If you order me to take off my clothes, I'll be happy to take them off."
"I don't want to see such a thing, but it's enough to understand that if you have my back, you have to risk your life."
With her answer, Kim got up from his seat. Then he did not pick a coffee.
"Don't you need coffee?"
"I can't eat this, even in a hurry."
Kim heard Bang's voice. Bang had three bags on his back, front, and left hand. In his right hand, he had a new baseball bat. He has collected the items ordered by Kim from the first basement floor.
Kim moved to the escalator without hesitation. It was time to leave. Ahn took a bag from Bang and followed after Kim with it.
"Big brother, can I ask you a question?"
"...what are you going to do with the survivors who are here?"
The question was due to the looks of the survivors below.
At the order of Kim, Bang was taking things from the first basement floor, and the survivors who fled to the first floor of the basement just watched. They looked so pitiful and pathetic. The eyes of those desperate enough did not know how they should ask.
Bang could not ignore their eyes. So, Bang wanted Kim to become a hero.
"They have to fend for themselves."
"If you want to protect the remaining survivors, do it, but don't ask for my help."
Kim did not intend to become a hero. No, if he really wanted to be a hero, he should ignore the survivors here. A true hero would know how to renounce the small in order to secure the great.
At the words of Kim, Bang was worried about them. On the other hand, however, he did not worry about it for long. If he left Kim, his eyes would look the same way as the survivors who were staring at him in a few days.
"I'll follow you."
Kim gave him a brief compliment. "It was wise to use the cooking oil."
"Yes? Ah!" In a sense, Bang laughed at the praise he had heard for the first time since he had met Kim.
"Really? It was amazing I thought of it. If I had used this wisdom at the last Blue Dragon league baseball game, I would have been nominated for the pros… No, if I'd been nominated, I wouldn't have met you."
Ahn, who had guessed that Bang was about to ramble on, cut off Bang's words at once. "What's the plan for the future?"
Ahn could not bear to listen to such chatter as she had not heard what he wanted.
Kim answered her question this time. "The primary purpose is to leave here first."
"Why are you leaving?"
"What do you want, a detailed or brief explanation?"
"A little more detail…"
"By the time the sun comes up, this place will be Hell."
Hell. Ahn and Bang's face hardened at the word.
"… You mean the monsters are coming again?"
"Even without the monsters, it will be Hell."
"What the hell does that mean…"
At that moment, a man approached them when they reached the ground floor.
"Well, um …"
It was not just anyone who appeared, but Park Jae-woon.
Surviving in the turmoil, he approached Kim carefully and asked him, "Well, what do we do now?"
Behind Park, was his wife, holding their daughter, whose eyes were swollen from crying.
Kim gave quick advice to such a man. "After securing about five days of high-calorie, easy-to-storage food like chocolate, secure them in the City Hall right next to you. Also, be careful to keep your body warm."
"Don't move using vehicles, but it will be useful if you treat them like a tent. Finally, in case of an emergency, you'd better have the tools to carry the child on your backs."
It was a surprisingly kind explanation. However, it was a harsh explanation from Park's point of view. After all, it meant that they would have to survive by themselves.
"Ah …" Park's face turned pale.
The fact that monsters he had never seen before were overflowing, the infrastructure of society had collapsed, and he had to survive with his wife and daughter, had made his face so.
But Park bowed his head to Kim, even though his face was pale.
"Thank you. Thank you so much for your help." He never forgot the least courtesy and reason. If it had not been for that, he would have long abandoned his family and run away.
That was why Kim gave minimal advice to him. As Kim saw it, Park was qualified to survive.
Bang and Ahn looked at Park, who was stepping back like that, with terrible expressions.
'Yeah, I guess the big brother is right. That's right.'
'The day comes when the emergency room feels peaceful and hopeful.'
Who could have imagined this scene here a day ago?
But what was even more frightening was that they couldn't even imagine what would happen tomorrow.
On the other hand, Kim had a cold look, as he could imagine tomorrow right now and the future more easily.
"The population of Bucheon City is about 800,000, and the number of people who died immediately when the atomic bomb fell on Hiroshima, Japan, was about 70,000. In the face of such a devastating disaster, the number of deaths could not exceed 100,000. Of course, even if there is an unprecedented disaster, the number of survivors in Bucheon should exceed 700,000."
Kim went on to explain after he had stopped for a while.
"In other words, at this hour, seven hundred thousand people in Bucheon City are waiting for the sun to rise, scared by fear of monsters, without the help of any social system such as electricity, communication, gas, police, or firefighting."
"Ah." At that, there was a sound like a soul escaping from Ahn's mouth.
A scene was painted, of what kind of sight would unfold in the city of Bucheon when the sun rose.
"Most of the monsters that caused this confusion will still be walking or hiding somewhere in the city, and at any moment a more powerful monster may appear."
Obviously, the present sight was Hell.
"First of all, it is unlikely that all this has happened only in Bucheon City. If it had been limited to Bucheon City, help would have come in some way from Seoul or Incheon. Maybe the whole world is like this."
The important thing was that this hellish sight was not the end, but the beginning!
"Anyway, what we need right now to survive in this situation is at least two of my own criteria."
Kim had experienced many such places.
'How do humans act when they think that they are at the end of an era, and in a place where there is no proper government?'
"Common sense, and violence to force that common sense."
'What is the most effective way to deal with them?'
"I'll tell you what I'm planning now. There's a police station nearby. We'll get something to use as a weapon there. Then we'll move to Ojung-dong!"
"At the military base there, we will secure the right weapons!"
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