Chapter 13. Territory Dispute, Part I
The third floor of the building, which had been used as the office of a company until a few days ago, was now the home of monsters.
The monsters were monkeys, but naturally not normal monkeys.
Their saw-like teeth and protruding snouts were closer to the appearance of a dog, not a monkey.
It was like a dog's head on a monkey's body.
Moreover, the red eyes on the horrifying face exuded a terrible energy.
The four grotesque monsters were eating now.
The menu was a human.
A man in his mid-twenties, who had just died, his blood still warm, and four monsters were holding his limbs in their hands and eating them with grueling intensity.
There were four skeletons scattered around them, and the rolling skeletons were clean and even shiny.
In this cold winter, the flesh could not have rotted off.
It was a clear evidence and a gruesome sign that these monsters had licked the bones until there was not a piece of flesh left.
A man entered the office of about a hundred square meters, interfering with the terrible meal of the monsters.
The monsters who were interrupted immediately threw out ferocious shrieks toward the person disturbing them.
But it was not a monster, but a man who took the initiative.
A featherless Arrow started to move as the man appeared, and pierced the head of a monkey.
It fell with a hole in its head, flat on the floor.
Another monster also fell to the ground like a broken doll. Blood sprang out from the corner of its temple.
The two remaining monsters, which were ready to jump at him in rage, burst out with frightened cries.
The cries did not last long.
The two monsters also fell to the ground with holes in their heads, after the Arrow painted a sleek line between them.
The Arrow that had destroyed four monsters in one rush returned to a revolver holder mounted on the man's waist, as gently as a butterfly.
The man, Kim Tae-hoon, looked around again. His expression was not very good, betraying no satisfaction with what he had done.
Behind him came Bang Hyun-wook's voice. "Big brother, the first, second and third floors are cleaned. This place is cleaned… wow!"
Soon after Bang Hyun-wook saw what Kim Tae-hoon had done from behind his back, he whistled briefly.
"I feel it every time I see it, but it's still really scary. I'm glad you're not my enemy."
At the admiration of Bang Hyun-wook, Kim Tae-hoon gave an order instead of an answer. "Take the monster stones and hang the flag outside the window."
"Yes!" Bang Hyun-wook's answer was followed by a rookie salute. He was trying to lighten the atmosphere, but Kim Tae-hoon's expression was not loosened.
It couldn't be loosened.
'This is not enough.'
What made Kim Tae-hoon's look solid right now was nothing but his weakness. Lack of power made his mood mixed.
No one would believe it if he said his mind since Kim Tae-hoon was already too strong.
The pattern on the back of Kim Tae-hoon's right hand was evidence.
- Strength: 92
- Health: 77
- Energy: E+ Rank
- Mana: E+ Rank
- Telekinesis: A Rank
- Mana Resistance: E+ Rank
- Defense: E+ Rank
Basic and special abilities were already high enough to be incomparable with the other Awakeners. There was a clear difference between him and Bang Hyun-wook, who boasted the highest level of Strength after Kim Tae-hoon.
For the weak monsters, he did not have to use Telekinesis, but simply could kill them alone, without having to use the powerful relics in his hand.
In addition, the abilities he had acquired after eating monster stones were also great.
But was he weak?
It was unbelievable, and not funny.
On the contrary, if Kim Tae-hoon was in front of a monster he should face from now on, the story would be different.
'Doing this, I can't even make time for the devil snake.'
A devil snake.
It refers to a huge yellow-eyed snake that currently used a subway station as its own nesting place, and actually reigned as the ruler of downtown Bucheon.
And now it was the target they were hunting.
Of course, Kim Tae-hoon didn't want to fight the devil snake.
In addition, if Kim Tae-hoon had any common sense as an individual, he should not fight the devil snake and avoid the encounter itself.
But now, Kim Tae-hoon was not an individual…
Outside the building, Kim Tae-hoon turned and looked at the building he had just been in.
A window broke, and a white flag appeared.
Kim Tae-hoon turned and looked at the building next to him.
Not a few visible buildings had white flags flapping outside their windows.
As Kim Tae-hoon looked at the flags, the day after the snowstorm ended, the day the sun rose, came again.
"It's forty percent."
At the words of Jang Sung-hoon, five people, consisting of three men and two women standing close, stared at him with cold eyes.
It was a fierce look.
It was not a vague expression. There was an invisible but apparent force from their eyes. This was the force of an Awakener, only available to those who had the opportunity to acquire the superhuman power to fight against the monsters in the age of the monsters.
But Jang Sung-hoon was not daunted by their spirit. Behind him was a boss who the crowd of five Awakeners and leaders of Messiah rushed into and fell before.
"Don't stare at me like that. Did you think you were going to become our own favored community?"
"Not one of us ever said we would go down there, yet we belong to the Messiah," a middle-aged man answered immediately.
He was a very muscular man and was wearing only a thin, long-sleeved T-shirt, even in the cold weather and without heating. His muscular body was exposed to the cold.
It was a blatant expression of power, in fact. His Strength and the Energy to endure this cold was showing his power.
Of course, his snarling voice was also powerful. He was showing that he was not willing to back down.
"So you're going to risk your life with my boss? That sounds like it to me. Would you like me to make a plate for you? Would you like to play a game of character removal?"
"That's…" the muscular middle-aged man turned off his mighty spirit at the gaze of Kim Tae-hoon, who watched him indifferently behind Jang Sung-hoon.
Jang Sung-hoon looked at him like that and said, "Do you think this is like we're getting a baseball player, and I'm here to sign a contract with you? I think you haven't thought this through, yet."
With his words, Jang Sung-hoon grabbed his shirt and flapped it lightly. "Or does this look like a suit for office workers?"
At the words, the five Awakeners glanced at the soldiers with guns, who were looking at them from behind Kim Tae-hoon.
The expressions in the eyes of the soldiers were not just those of those drafted into the army. It was the glitter in the eyes of those who had survived monster attacks, and not for a short time.
If necessary, they were totally ready to pull the trigger now against people.
"Well, I'll tell you again. The story is simple. You Awakeners are now hunting dogs in the Mac Clan's name. If you don't like the term 'a hunting dog', you can change it to 'a hunter'. You can name yourself as you wish. There is only one important thing: you have to pay the Mac Clan forty percent of the monster stones you get from being a hunting dog of the Mac Clan."
Jang Sung-hoon had summarized his words so far, with his back to his allies.
The five Awakeners avoided the answer to Jang Sung-hoon's words. They looked at Kim Tae-hoon sideways.
Everything went on rather abruptly.
When the night of the blizzard passed, and the new white world unfolded, the news was delivered to the Messiah executives waiting in Bucheon City Hall.
Their leader, Lee Jin-sung, was dead, and Kim Tae-hoon, the leader of the Mac Clan, wants to negotiate with the remaining Messiah executives.
The negotiation table itself was easily set up.
There were virtually no people who devoted their enthusiastic loyalty to the dead Lee Jin-sung in the first place.
In addition, there were no people who wanted to sacrifice themselves for the war against Mac Clan, without knowing who had taken Lee Jin-sung. On the contrary, the remaining executives of Messiah welcomed the negotiation itself.
Proposing to negotiate would mean that the other side did not want a war against the Messiah.
'This is not a negotiation, but a threat!'
But the table was not the same as the messiah executives thought.
Jang Sung-hoon, who came out as the representative of Mac Clan, demanded two things of the Messiah.
One, the Awakeners of the Messiah would be hunting dogs of the Mac Clan.
Two, the hunting dogs would devote forty percent of the monster stones gained through monster hunting to the Mac Clan.
That was the scenario prepared by Jang Sung-hoon.
'Bucheon is not a rural town. It was once a metropolis with a population of over 800,000, and it needs a system to rule a place with hundreds of thousands of survivors.'
When Kim Tae-hoon accepted his opinion and said that he would make Bucheon a base area, Jang Sung-hoon thought that Kim Tae-hoon's way of operating the Mac Clan could not work.
The established Mac Clan was a group that existed only for Kim Tae-hoon.
No matter what Kim Tae-hoon did, they could not refuse.
They were a group that could perform Kim Tae-hoon's command perfectly, a group that could be controlled close to perfection.
It was possible because the size of the Mac Clan was at most fifty or so.
However, if the group took Bucheon City as a base area and kept survivors under them, the story would be different.
It was impossible to completely control thousands or tens of thousands of humans. It was something no one had ever done, and no one could do it.
'It's impossible for the boss to monopolize the whole thing from now on.'
In particular, a system was needed to control a new variable, Awakeners.
Kim Tae-hoon has been able to take all the monster stones he got through hunting.
"You don't understand because you don't have an answer, but you'll only have to pay your forty percent of the monster stone you've acquired, and we won't mind what you do with the monster bodies you've killed. Every time you kill a special monster, we'll negotiate. You can eat it. You can give us a notification after you eat it. If you did not notify us, and later there is something strange about an ability you have learned, when I take a look at your Awakener Mark, it will cause trouble."
So Jang Sung-hoon tried to tie up Kim Tae-hoon and the surviving Awakeners with a very simple relationship.
"In easy terms, it's give-and-take."
Give and take. It was a simple concept that a child could understand.
Based on the concept, Jang Sung-hoon wanted to receive forty percent of the monster stone that they would acquire, from the Awakeners still surviving.
"Forty percent… what do we get by paying that forty percent?" Of course, from the listening point of view, it sounds like they were only being deprived.
That was why the five executives were not able to answer easily.
Jang Sung-hoon explained it to them. "We'll give you your life once. You don't want to die, do you?"
"What the hell is that…"
"It's a joke. A joke. If we really want to kill you, why do we have a negotiation table here for you? When we find a man with a mark on his back, shooting him is easy to do."
"...is that a threat?"
Threat. Kim Tae-hoon, who had been keeping silent with Jang Sung-hoon in front of him, came forward.
Everyone was nervous about it.
To the five Awakeners facing Kim Tae-hoon, as well as Jang Sung-hoon,, the air was naturally tightened.
In the tight atmosphere, Kim Tae-hoon said in a low voice, "Forty percent is the street tax, and it's the street tax for hunting monsters in my territory."
Someone said with great courage, "This isn't your land, is it? It's not like you're asking for forty percent of our income in that situation…"
Kim Tae-hoon did not get angry at the courage. Instead, he asked back calmly, "Then, whose territory is this?"
"Well..." the Awakeners thought.
Whose land is Bucheon now?
The answer was obvious.
In the world of the law of the jungle, the weak were the prey of the strong. A strong man becomes the master of everything, and now the top predator in Bucheon was the yellow-eyed devil that used the subway station as its home.
It was good to say that the master of the area within a radius of a dozen kilometers around Bucheon City Hall was the devil of yellow eyes.
But no one could easily say that.
To say that is to admit that the land belongs to not a human being but a monster now.
If they did, it was like they were confessing that they were hanging on the edge of the cliff and putting despair at their feet.
However, only Kim Tae-hoon spit out the fact without hesitation. "Of course, if someone kills it, he'll be the master in the territory."
He also told them what he wanted to give to the survivors.
It was hope.
What Kim Tae-hoon wanted to give to the survivors was hope to escape from the fear of predators, now struggling to survive at the bottom of the food chain.
"It's forty percent. If you're sure you won't get caught, it's all right whether you cheat or skip it. If you don't get caught."
There was no further objection.
Kim Tae-hoon stepped back, and Jang Sung-hoon said with a smile to the five frozen people,
"We don't have a contract. This is a commitment based on mutual trust and faith. I'll trust your will. You don't want to die by sacrificing a living human being to live on, and you don't want to die later, do you?"
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.