Chapter 11: The Lawless City, Part III
When the heavy snow fell, the terrible world began to turn white in earnest.
Kim Tae-hoon and Jang Sung-hoon, who properly concealed the dead, went into a sushi restaurant with Baek Ji-yeon, the woman survivor.
The fish that protruded from the water tanks broken by the monster raids were all frozen, and the inside of the restaurant remained a bit fishy-smelling.
"I'll stand guard."
Jang Sung-hoon took out the rifle he had brought there and stood guard. Kim Tae-hoon went into the kitchen with Baek Ji-yeon, who was shaking in the cold with her lips blue. She was wearing only the pants and jumper of a dead man.
In the kitchen, Kim Tae-hoon threw two hot packs to Baek Ji-yeon.
Baek Ji-yeon blinked, took the hot packs, and began to rub her whole body with them.
Because she covered her body with only a jumper, when she rubbed her body with hot packs, her naked body was revealed. But could not afford to worry about her breasts being exposed.
She was full of the desire to melt her whole body and to live.
Kim Tae-hoon put her in front of him and said, "What happened on January 1?"
Instead of answering, Kim Tae-hoon glared at her with cold eyes. Then she remembered the three conditions that Kim Tae-hoon had demanded earlier.
"I don't know about the first day of January, but when I woke up it was already late at night."
She would die if she hesitated to answer. The warning alone kept her talking.
"Everyone was the same. Few of the survivors were sane on January 1st. Awakeners! Yes, only a few of the Awakeners were active on January 1st, but it was not exact…"
Of course, in this situation, she talked about everything at the same time. Cold and fear, these two were very effective factors paralyzing human reason.
So, it was more meaningful for Kim.
The words she spoke now were ones that had not been manipulated, without any processing in her mind.
'The dragon's influence was enormous.'
Once in Bucheon City, it became clear that January 1st was a lost day.
The cause was obvious.
The horrifying monster passed by, killing monsters and humans from fear alone, or stunning them.
Even if there were monsters or humans that could move, those who were exposed to the fear would not be able to act normally.
The next important word was the word 'Awakener.'
The expression of 'Awakener' itself was not a word that only Kim Tae-hoon could use after applying for a patent. However, if the expression of 'Awakener' was used in Bucheon City, there was a trace of Kim Tae-hoon.
"Who used the word 'Awakener'?"
"The survivors of the large mart by the City Hall spread out, and a rumor that eating monster stones would give Awakeners superhuman strength began there, as well as a rumor that the first hunter had killed a Black Orc…"
As expected, it was the survivors who had survived in the large mart that spread the term 'Awakener.'
"So what happened on January 2nd? Tell me about the important parts."
"The survivors who survived in the large mart gathered at the City Hall. They started making a group, saying, 'If we gather around the Awakeners, we will be able to fight monsters, and if we have a lot of monster stones, we can kill monsters.' The survivors began to gather there one by one."
"When did you join them?"
"Well, I didn't join them. I was working at a department store by the New Jungdong Station. I did not join, but they came."
"Is Messiah the name of the group?"
"Yes? Yes, it's the name of the organization. It's not… the group which was made in the City Hall. No, it started there, but it was, so…"
At that moment she began to stammer. She was trying to throw out something in her head at once, but she was overloaded.
Kim Tae-hoon looked at her grimly. Baek Ji-yeon met his eyes and shook herself.
"Well, I'll tell you soon, please, save me."
"Just answer my question. Who made the Messiah group?"
"He's a guy named Lee Jin-sung."
"What are his external features?"
"I've never seen him… I don't even know where he is."
Kim Tae-hoon started glaring at Baek Ji-yeon at the words.
"Well, well, it's a rumor, I'm not sure, it's said he's using a sword… a sword that's so special that it can cut a monster in half. It's a rumor. I've never seen it."
"What was the date the Messiah group came to your department store?"
"It's… the sixth day! I'm sure it was the sixth day."
"What did they come for?"
"To get a sacrifice…"
"It's a sacrifice to calm down the yellow devil on the subway."
"The yellow demon on the subway?"
"It's a giant snake, whose whole body is covered with black scales. The shining snake with yellow eyes … so it's called the yellow devil."
"What does a sacrifice mean?"
"We need ten people every day to fill the yellow devil's belly. We throw ten people into the New Jungdong Station every day. Ten people every day... after cutting off the Achilles tendon to keep them from running..."
Her whole body began to shake after she said that, and the reason began to disappear from her eyes.
"I'm sorry, I'll answer you immediately, I'll answer…"
Kim Tae-hoon, who thought that further questions were meaningless, took out a chocolate bar and a can of premade coffee from his chest and threw them to her.
A chocolate bar and a canned coffee were not a good combination, but she accepted it with wide eyes.
"Take a break, get things straight in your mind."
"Thank you, thank you." She began to unwrap the chocolate bar with her frozen hands and broken nails. After she managed to unwrap it, she began to eat the hard-frozen chocolate bar.
In the meantime, Kim Tae-hoon came out of the kitchen and approached Jang Sung-hoon, still standing guard.
"Boss, do you get anything good?"
"If the sad news is good, then yes."
"The sad news? Is that a bad story?"
"The Awakeners of the survivors made a group, and now they are expanding the area of the city. The name of the force is Messiah."
"Messiah, that's a very attractive name. I think we should have chosen an English name for our Clan. To be honest, now that I'm talking about Mac, foreigners will think of McDonald's or Apple, but will not think of a mythical animal which eats dreams. There was a McDonald's near the department store, and I want a hamburger now."
"The Messiah group is dealing with monsters in a way that gives a human offering to them."
"There is such a thing?" Jang Sung-hoon's face hardened as he nodded. "What? A human offering? Wait, I didn't hear you wrong, did I? Did they give someone to a monster? To a monster?"
"There's a snake called the Yellow Devil in the subway station, and they are offering ten adults every day to calm it down."
"Ten people every day? Isn't that crazy? It's crazy. Crazy bastards, offering a human being as a sacrifice?" He looked confused even as he swore.
Kim Tae-hoon, on the other hand, did not lose his coolness. "It's more cruel than crazy."
It is clear that he faced an unexpected reality, but Kim Tae-hoon could not deny that the behavior of the Messiah organization was reasonable and efficient enough.
"If they can't kill a monster anyway, it's reasonable for them to make as many sacrifices as the monster wants."
"But that's not right."
"If you were in a Messiah group, that would not have come out easily."
"To sacrifice the few for the many might be democracy in this world."
Jang Sung-hoon shut up. Kim Tae-hoon continued on.
"Moreover, the current group of survivors has a form in which general people are attached to the Awakeners, and it would be hard for the common people who would be sacrificed to oppose it if the Awakeners need sacrifices. In other words, the system of sacrifice is a way of survival for Awakeners, and a means of maintaining power."
Jang Sung-hoon looked at the snow falling down with a pale face. Kim Tae-hoon did not speak anymore.
It was his turn to chew on his anguish.
'Messiah and Lee Jin-sung.'
For now, he had two clues. The Messiah group and the leader of the group, Lee Jin-sung.
'A human offering...'
Messiah, the meaning of the name didn't matter. The important thing was their behavior.
'Smart, cruel, and powerful in action.'
It is understandable that the Awakeners would gather together, and it was natural for a force of survivors to be set up around them.
But offering a living person to sacrifice was something that is not common. It was not easy to come up with such an idea.
At this point, monsters were just things to run away from and avoid.
When a powerful monster appeared, it would scare people into running away, and they wouldn't think to feed it and keep it calm.
In that situation, who would think monsters had their own territories and wouldn't wander if they were full?
Just because they watched National Geographic often does not mean they would think of it.
Lee Jin-sung, who came up with such an idea and put it into practice, could not be an ordinary person.
'A person who uses a sword and is able to cut down monsters with a single stroke.'
It was only a story, but it was something even Kim Tae-hoon could not do.
'Energy rank is high, or he has a high Mana rank and a relic that uses his Mana effectively.'
The rank of natural ability would have to be high.
'The scary part is that he created Messiah on purpose.'
He didn't use his power recklessly.
According to the story, the starting point for Messiah was the group of survivors from the City Hall.
In that group, Lee Jin-sung was active step by step.
At first, he would have become a hero by fighting a monster without cost, and as soon as the organization gathered around him, he would have taken off his mask, after winning the Awakeners to his side who would become his own limbs.
"The offering of human beings is not the purpose itself."
Moreover, it was not likely that the Messiah was dedicated to religious rituals. Keeping the monsters quiet was the process.
"The purpose is to develop power, hunting the small fries."
In terms of games, they are leveling up while killing the small fries, leaving the powerful monsters alone.
At the same time, their scope of the activity would be expanded, and the evidence was that they attacked and brought the survivors of other areas under their control to secure sacrifices.
In the process, they also created a sense of fear by cutting the heads off the bodies.
"If they expand this way and secure the material of the 17th Division beyond Songnae Station..."
As soon as this organization gained firepower, he would become a powerful warlord.
The foundation was already established. The foundation itself was much bigger than the Mac Clan.
So at this moment, Kim Tae-hoon had to choose whether to hold their hands or remove them.
He could not leave Messiah like this. He had to decide now to hold their hands or remove them.
He did not worry about this part long.
'I can't hold their hands.'
The choice of holding hands with Messiah was not right for Kim Tae-hoon.
It was not because of the sense of disgust with the Messiah and Lee Jin-sung, or a sense of justice that he should stop their evil behavior.
'It's not a sword I can keep below me.'
His capacity was just insufficient. In fact, Kim Tae-hoon had never compromised with the men of power of the lawless world or used their way.
He had only removed the men of power of the lawless world.
Therefore, if his past was measured calmly, he would never be able to deal with the bloody awl, like Lee Jin-sung.
Moreover, Lee Jin-sung was a human being who cut the heads of bodies for symbolism.
That sort of person never quits his ambition, he knew. A sharp sword that cannot be handled is only a weapon that hurts the body.
That left only one answer.
Kim Tae-hoon looked out the broken window of the sushi restaurant and saw the scenery. The snow was getting stronger.
"Jang Sung-hoon, we're going back to headquarters."
"Okay, then what about her…"
Kim Tae-hoon turned his back before the words were out, and headed back to Baek Ji-yeon, who was holding a hot pack in the kitchen.
Then he looked at her and said, "The choice is either to be a survivor and go alone or to be a prisoner and follow orders. I'm telling you clearly that you're not worthy of being a hostage. Don't expect to be treated like one."
Baek Ji-yeon's answer was obvious before he finished.
"I'll be a prisoner, and I'll do anything."
The library headquarters of Mac Clan did not look much different from the past, but there were booby traps and other preparations for intruders. If monsters or people came in there, they would have to pay a huge price.
In a sense, it was the safest place in Bucheon City.
Kim was preparing to leave there.
"I'm going alone without any companions," he told them directly.
"Major, can you do it alone?" Lieutenant Kim had already heard the story and his plan, too.
Kim Tae-hoon was planning to deal with the Messiah solo.
Of course, nobody doubted that he would remove the Messiah, including Kim Soo-ji, Ahn Sun-mi, Jang Sung-hoon, and Bang Hyun-wook.
It was necessary to be punished in some way for buying their lives through human offerings.
In addition, the Messiah was the closest obstacle to the Mac Clan's expansion. It was natural to break down the Messiah group, both morally and computationally.
"If the Messiah doesn't have a firearm, it would be easy to take the soldiers along to finish them."
The important thing was the method. Unless Messiah had guns, they could not be Mac Clan's opponent. Never!
If there were three or four people who were shot and killed, the rest would be scared and would surrender.
Even an Awakener would be not different because there was no Awakener who could relax in front of bullets at this point.
But Kim Tae-hoon excluded that method.
"Messiah is not dealing with monsters, but they are managed by sacrifice. Their realms are virtually monster dens, and moving there is too risky. If I fire a gun or something blindly, monsters would come in flocks."
It weighed on his mind that the place where the Messiah was located was not a safe place, but a symbiotic area with monsters around.
Even the monster called the Yellow Devil was like that.
According to Baek Ji-yeon's words, only the sword of the leader of the Messiah, Lee Jin-sung, could hurt it.
If such a creature was only a little bit hurt by a hunter's sword, which could cut a monster into two pieces with a single stroke, then bullets would not work properly.
It meant that he needed firepower beyond guns, including claymores and grenades if he wanted to kill it.
There is a possibility that it won't work, too. At that time, Mac Clan must be prepared to be wiped out.
"And there's nothing good about a war of attrition."
Most of all, a war of attrition was a loss to Mac Clan, too.
They always were.
The price to pay when fighting a war in earnest was enormous, both to the attacking side and to the defending side.
So, groups of really large size and firepower always run over less well-equipped groups.
"First of all, this is my specialty."
That was why such an incredibly efficient existence, Kim Tae-hoon, was born.
There are times when it was more certain for a specially trained monster to pull the trigger than running expensive fighters, battleships and tanks, and spending tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of dollars an hour on war costs and expending firepower.
In addition, it is not an exaggeration to say that Kim Tae-hoon is the best in the world in removing a man of power from the lawless city.
"Currently, it is January 10th, 19:22. If I don't return by 05:00 on January 11th, you will be on full alert, and all command will be left to Lieutenant Kim Soo-ji."
At this moment, none of the gathered people, including Kim Soo-ji, worried about Kim Tae-hoon.
"I wish you the best of luck."
"Big brother, be safe."
"Boss, when you come back, bring some Melona ice cream!"
"Oh, then I want Worldcon!"
"I hope you come back alive because I don't want to leave my life to these two madmen."
"You're talking too much."
"Yes, sister Sun-mi, if you have such a bad mouth, you won't marry."
They just sent some heartfelt words after him as he left to deal with Messiah.
Please switch to the pop-up to complete the payment.
Complete the daily and EXP missions, as well as every week’s reading missions to obtain EXP and coin as rewards.Learn more about the rules 1. You can obtain the corresponding Fast Passes, EXP, and Points as rewards by completing growth missions, as well as daily missions. 2. A Fast Pass can unlock a chapter (of any price). The chapter will remain unlocked forever. It will expire after 7*24 hours, so don't forget to use it in time! 3. Obtained EXP can raise your user level. 4. Daily Tasks and corresponding rewards renew daily at 00:00 UTC+8. Don't forget to claim your rewards in time. 5. The weekly reading time is calculated while your device is connected to the Internet. This might result in a delay of several minutes. 6. Rewards may vary according to app version.
This's an experimental test for reading assistance in case.
We highly recommend you to enjoy the beauty of the original words.