Chapter 9. The Golden Glass of Napoleon, Part I
They were survivors.
"I'm from Guro District."
"We're from Yangcheon District…"
Survivors from Seoul.
Of course, Guro District and Yangcheon District were located far from the center of Seoul, but it was clear that they were closer to Seoul than Kim Tae-hoon's party.
He was able to see the bigger picture more clearly now.
"Seoul is hell now, and the great monsters are going crazy …"
"A huge winged dragon, you can't believe it, but when the dragon spat out the fire, the building collapsed, the trees burned all over, and the people just melted down ..."
"I heard that the fighters fired missiles at Mapo bridge and Yanghwa bridge, and they destroyed them."
The capital city of the Republic of Korea was not the most populous place in Korea, but the place with the most damage and the largest casualties in Korea.
Everyone who heard the story was white, their faces like plaster.
Kim Tae-hoon's face was also stiff.
'The fact that the fighters were moving means that more than one of the air bases played a role … Considering the distance and situation, they made a sortie from Seongnam AFB. But they destroyed the bridge … to stop the monsters from going into Gyeonggi Province? Or to prevent the monsters from entering Seoul?'
The analysis of new information and the establishment of hundreds of hypotheses based on the information did not give him any room to think about anything else.
Kim Soo-ji came over to Kim Tae-hoon and said.
"What are you going to do, major?" As she asked the question, she thought that Kim Tae-hoon's answer would come after a longer period of thought. She also expected that the answer would be very reasonable.
However, Kim Tae-hoon answered easily. "Before we move to our next destination, we'll be briefed and ready to spend the day here."
"Then the survivors …"
"I have no plan to work with the survivors."
In addition, Kim Tae-hoon's answer was completely opposite to Kim's Soo-ji's rational decision.
"Major Kim Tae-hoon?"
"I say again, we don't move with the survivors."
"So are you going to leave them like this?"
"I didn't pick them up, but if I had, I would have left them."
"Major! They are civilian survivors!"
Whether you are a soldier or not, if you have any compassion, you should help survivors.
Isn't that a reasonable idea for anyone?
Kim Tae-hoon did not respond to Kim Soo-ji's opposition. Instead, he approached the survivors sitting on the floor and warming themselves by the fire.
The survivors did not have anything in common, such as age, gender, or occupation; their only commonality was that they had no life in their eyes.
Kim Tae-hoon told them, "We can't afford to escort you to a safe place right now, as we don't know where it is safe in this situation either. You will have to move on your own."
The words were blunt, but they came out gently. But there was not one person who felt favorable to the gentle words.
In the case of Ahn Sun-mi and Bang Hyun-wook, they froze upon hearing them.
They knew Kim Tae-hoon well. At the large mart, Kim Tae-hoon spoke in front of the survivors in such a way, and then he abandoned them.
For his own purposes, he did not do anything to interfere and was not swept away by compassion for what he could not do.
So they knew that Kim Tae-hoon's words were not merely threats or warnings, but genuine.
One of them, Bang Hyun-wook, came out immediately. "Big brother! We are on the move, and we can go with them, can't we? I thought we'd sleep here today! Why don't we go with them?"
Kim Tae-hoon, who watched him talking, was able to roughly gauge his heart. There was nothing to think about. He saw Bang Hyun-wook talking to a young woman of his age among the survivors.
So Kim Tae-hoon spat out his prepared words. "I don't want to stop you if you're going to be a hero, but you're the only one going to be."
"What? What do you mean …"
"If monsters appear in a situation where survivors follow us, I will pull the trigger, regardless of the survivors. At least, it will not be heroic."
"Wait, wait a minute."
"And to be honest, it's dangerous for a survivor to be an obstacle in that way, and I'm not going to take any more risks here without any merit."
Bang Hyun-wook stopped talking. It was meaningless to talk about who was right and wrong.
Kim Tae-hoon was right in the matter of surviving.
"If you want to leave Mac Clan to be a hero, I can let you go, but don't think you'll come back free the moment you leave."
Working with survivors was a burden in many ways.
There were many things that needed to be done as the number of mouths increased. Movement slows down, and more food is consumed.
But the biggest problem is that there were more to protect.
It was hard to keep yourself alive right now in this world, and there was no room for someone else in this world. If there was, it was just a delusion or a bluff.
The conversation between the two was clearly heard by the survivors. None of the survivors could understand the meaning of the conversation.
'He is abandoning us?'
'What is he talking about? A soldier should protect us.'
The eyes of the survivors, the dark-dead eyes, began to shake. One of them jumped up.
"You! You're going to abandon us now? You're going to ..."
"Yes." Kim Tae-hoon answered immediately.
"What the fuck is that?"
Survivors were scared, and everyone got up from their seats sequentially and started to look at Kim Tae-hoon.
Their eyes were full of fear, and their faces were full of anger. They could not understand. How could they understand that the lifeline they had barely caught onto was clawing their palms and getting out?
"You're soldiers, aren't you? You must protect us!"
"Shit, if you have received our tax money, you should protect us!"
"You son of a bitch, are you a human being like that? Are you going to live alone?"
The angry survivors began to get angry.
Kim Tae-hoon briefly told them, "Shut up."
The short command was filled with a murderous spirit. The murderous spirit was not visible, but there was enough power to crush them.
He was not a normal human being.
Kim Tae-hoon had already eaten the power of several monsters, and the power that he ate became his own bones and flesh.
Kim Tae-hoon was an Awakener with A rank telekinesis and could physically exercise his thoughts.
His murderous spirit was like a cold wind in the cold winter. There was no shortage of cutting flesh and making wounds.
The anger that the survivors spat out before the murderous spirit cooled down instantly.
"I'm telling you clearly, we're not soldiers. Mac Clan, a group organized for monster hunting. Our purpose is to hunt monsters, not to save survivors."
Kim Tae-hoon continued to speak in an atmosphere so cold that nobody could even swallow.
"In addition, we hunt monsters to survive. To interfere with us is a threat to our survival, and there is no reason for us to risk our lives to save you."
There was no cross-questioning.
"I ask you the opposite, how many men did you save, how many men did you help, and how many monsters did you hunt when you came here?"
There was no breathing heard.
"You've survived and come all the way here because you've turned away a lot of survivors, but do you think we're the only ones who can not turn away from survivors?"
There was only one-sided violence in this existence.
"I warn you, if you interfere with our activities, I'll do something about it in some way, and you can then call the police or hire a lawyer."
After he stopped speaking, the sound of breathing and swallowing finally came. At the same time, everyone knew.
'He's a man who could shoot and kill us if we got in his way.'
Kim Tae-hoon was not just talking a bluff or nonsense, but really thinking about it.
Therefore, none of the survivors showed any further signs of blaming Kim Tae-hoon.
Kim Tae-hoon no longer paid attention to them. He ordered his men to look at him.
"Today, we will spend a day here at Bucheon Stadium. Obtain gas from nearby cars, charge smartphone batteries with car batteries, and get food from nearby marts and vending machines."
That was all.
Kim Tae-hoon did not warn the survivors that he would consider them hostile if they entered the area of Mac Clan.
Even if he did not, the survivors already knew it very well.
So the day ended, and night came again.
Kim Tae-hoon taught many things to his subordinates after he founded the Mac Clan.
He taught survival knowledge, such as how to charge a smartphone battery using a car battery, and how to dismantle monsters.
The education was done every day.
"The Sabretooth Wolf has the thinnest skin between these ribs. The heart is caught when the hand is this deep, to the midpoint of the wrist and elbow after stabbing the hole with a knife."
Even today, Kim Tae-hoon taught the soldiers how to take the monster stones out of the body of a Sabretooth Wolf by demonstrating to them.
Of course, this education was not to make an excellent soldier, but a competent hunter.
"Big brother, I need to talk to you …" Bang Hyun-wook talked to Kim Tae-hoon after the body of a Sabretooth Wolf was all broken down to bones and flesh.
Kim Tae-hoon wiped his bloody hands with a towel and received a proposal from Bang Hyun-wook. "What do you want to say?"
"Can you accept even one of the survivors?"
"Just one person, please ... I'll keep her safe. I won't interrupt you. I'll give her my food." Bang Hyun-wook was serious and nervous.
On the other hand, Kim Tae-hoon was as calm as he always was. "Why should I give you that special favor?"
"Well..." Because of the calm, Bang Hyun-wook lost his pace. In the end, he spat out what he was holding back, withholding nothing.
"I've helped you, and I've got the highest Energy rank in our clan, and you will be in trouble without me."
A strong statement.
"Honestly, you have eaten a lot of monster stones from the monsters which I have killed so far."
Strong to the extent he surprised himself!
"Umm… I mean… not that you were wrong, that's not that I was dissatisfied, but that I've worked so hard for you…"
In the end, he failed to keep up his words.
Kim Tae-hoon asked Bang Hyun-wook, "I'll ask you one question, what's your relationship with her?"
"I went to the same middle school."
"No, it's not … I had a secret crush on her …" Even though he got the words out, Bang Hyun-wook was ashamed and blurred his words.
It was foolish and ridiculous to see himself speaking so high up against Kim Tae-hoon, not just for the sake of a friend or lover, but for someone who he was in unrequited love with.
However, Kim Tae-hoon did not look at Bang Hyun-wook as funny.
"I understand, but I can't comply with your request. I'm sorry." It was not worth discussing who is right, humanly and morally.
Kim Tae-hoon was right only in one thing: that his method was much more likely to survive.
Bang Hyun-wook's face also crumpled because he knew it.
Kim Tae-hoon could not be persuaded at all, the young Bang Hyun-wook couldn't readily accept the fact that he should give up something.
It was Jang Sung-hoon who finished the conversation between the two. "Boss!"
Jang Sung-hoon, who appeared with a serious face, was carrying a bag. Kim Tae-hoon's eyes changed when he checked the bag. He knew what was in that bag.
Jang Sung-hoon pulled out what Kim Tae-hoon knew was in the bag.
"Look at this." The Golden Glass of Napoleon, which glowed with a gentle golden light, appeared. "The cup was filled with red liquid. And ..." Jang Sung-hoon turned the golden cup upside down.
Of course, under common sense, if the laws of the world did not collapse, the liquid in the golden cup would fall to the floor.
But the red liquid inside only splashed a bit, and not a single drop fell out.
"What, what, what is this?" Bang Hyun-wook, who saw the golden cup itself for the first time, was shocked.
Kim Tae-hoon's face was hardened by concern. 'Does it mean that the champagne that makes me dream of a solution is this red liquid? What makes me qualifies as a crisis? Can I predict a solution through dreams? But why was the champagne created now? Is there a condition?'
"Boss, this is getting smaller and smaller, and if you don't drink it, it'll disappear."
But Kim Tae-hoon did not have time to worry.
He reached out, grabbed the Golden Glass of Napoleon in his hand, and drank the red champagne in it at once.
The unbearable alcohol instantly engulfed Kim Tae-hoon's whole body.
The last thing Kim Tae-hoon heard was "Boss!" "Big brother!" and the two voices coming towards him...
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