Word’s on the street that a certain translator is looking for a means to buy some…. coffee, something about an addiction…
Chapter 34 – Turf War (1)
On the third floor of an office building, which had been the headquarter of some company up until a few days ago, was a den of monsters.
They were monkey monsters.
They weren’t any ordinary monkeys.
Their teeth were like those of a dog’s and were nothing like those of a monkey’s. Their mouths were lined with sharp teeth like those of a saw blade.
It was like a dog’s head on a monkey’s body.
They ghastly beasts had red eyes, their whole bodies giving off a frightful aura.
The four grotesque monsters were in the midst of a meal.
A human was on the menu.
It was a man in his mid-twenties, typically someone whose blood would be boiling for action, each monster clutching onto a part of the man’s body, feasting.
There were four skulls rolling around near the monkeys. They were clean, even to the point of being glossy.
There was no way that the flesh on the skulls would have rotten clean in this cold winter.
It was clear that the monsters had licked the skulls clean until there wasn’t a single trace of flesh left on them.
The monkeys stopped their morbid feasting when a man walked into the office that was little more than 30 square meters.
The monsters didn’t take too kindly to being disturbed, baring their fangs at the intruder.
However, the man made the first move.
Immediately, a featherless arrow shot out on its own, piercing through a monster’s head.
The monster collapsed onto the floor, a hole in its head.
Another monster collapsed onto the floor like a broken doll. Blood sprayed out of the monster’s temple like a fountain.
The remaining two monsters, having gone crazy with anger, quickly cried out in fear.
Their cries were cut short.
The arrow cut through the air once more, the two monsters collapsing onto the floor with holes in their heads.
The fierce arrow that had dealt with four monsters in the blink of an eye gently entered a holster on the man’s waist.
The man, Kim Tae Hoon, swept his gaze across his surroundings one more time.
His expression was not very good. There was no satisfaction on his face despite what he had done.
“Hyungnim, the first, second, and third floors have all been taken care of.”
Bang Hyun Wook’s voice came from behind Kim Tae Hoon.
“Cleaning this place······ wow.”
Bang Hyun Wook whistled, looking at the carnage before him.
“Man, everytime I see this it’s scary. I’m glad that you’re not my enemy.”
In classic Kim Tae Hoon fashion, he ignored what the other party said and gave an order instead.
“Open a window and put out the flag after you’ve collected the monster stones.”
Bang Hyun Wook gave a silent salute while answering. Kim Tae Hoon’s expression didn’t soften.
He couldn’t loosen his expression.
‘This isn’t enough.’
It was Kim Tae Hoon’s weakness and feelings of scarcity that made his face go stiff.
Saying it out loud, it sounds unbelievable. All you needed to do was look at Kim Tae Hoon’s right hand.
Kim Tae Hoon’s right hand was proof of that.
– Strength : 92
– Stamina : 77
– Energy : E+ Rank
– Magic : E+ Rank
– Telekinesis : A Rank
– Magic Resistance : E+ Rank
– Physical Defense : E+ Rank
His basic and special abilities were already at a level where he couldn’t be compared with other awakened. After Kim Tae Hoon, Bang Hyun Wook boasted the highest Strength stat.
He didn’t have to use his Telekinesis against the weaker monsters, since he could deal with most of the small fry with just his strength alone.
The area was great for the purposes of hunting monsters. [TN: Often time, Koreans will use the term ‘eat’ to describe hunting or taking over. In TFH in particular, the term is often used to indicate hunting and consuming the benefits. Basically hunting and taking the drops or monster stones.]
Then were the others weak?
It was neither a funny or believable tale.
They were only weak if compared to Kim Tae Hoon.
‘This isn’t enough to go against the snake demon.’
It was a giant snake with yellow eyes that claimed a subway station as its dwelling place. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that it was the ruler of Bucheon.
But now, it was Kim Tae Hoon’s prey.
Kim Tae Hoon wouldn’t fight it if he didn’t need to.
If you look at the situation with common sense, then it’s only natural that nobody would be willing to fight with the demon snake.
But things had changed. Kim Tae Hoon was no longer a lone wolf.
Kim Tae Hoon walked out onto the streets and turned around, taking a look at the building he had been in mere moments before.
The sound of a window breaking was soon followed by the appearance of a white flag.
Kim Tae Hoon turned his head to look at the buildings off to the side.
Amongst the buildings was a large building whose windows were sporting white flags fluttering in the wind.
Looking at the flags, Kim Tae Hoon began to recall the events from the other day, it was the day after the blizzard had subsided and the sun had risen once more.
At the end of what Chang Sung Hoon’s words, five people, three men and two women, gazed at Chang Sung Hoon with cold gazes.
They were not vague gazes. Their eyes were clearly hostile. Awakened, those with superhuman abilities who can grow and fight against the monsters on equal footing.
Chang Sung Hoon wasn’t bothered by their aggression. Because although there were five awakened before him, their boss that held no goodwill for Messiah was behind him.
“Let’s look at at it this way. Aren’t your fates intertwined with ours now?”
“None of us have declared our loyalties to you. We’re still members of Messiah.”
A middle aged man immediately replied.
He was a very muscular man. He didn’t get cold, so he was only wearing a thin, long-sleeved polo shirt even in this cold weather, but because of that, his muscular body was clearly seen.
In fact, it was a blatant brag.
His ability to withstand the cold and his muscular body were all indicators of the great power he possessed.
Of course, his voice also carried strength as well.
His unwillingness to back down was also clear.
“So do you intend to risk your life in a battle with boss? Because that’s what it sounds like to my ears. Would you like to have a go at it? Do you want to kaesagppang?” [TN: kaesagppang is an abbreviation for 캐릭터 삭제 빵, which means character deletion after death. Kind of like a hardcore mode character in an ARPG game like Path of Exile or Diablo. When these characters die, they die for good, and you need to make a new character.]
However, the middle aged muscular man’s rebellious eyes sooned shrinked back after looking at Kim Tae Hoon.
Chang Sung Hoon looked at them and spoke.
“It looks like you nobles haven’t quite figured things out on your abacus yet, does it look like you’re in a position to recruit baseball players or something? Do you think you came here to sign a contract?”
With those words, Chang Sung Hoon grasped his uniform.
“Does this look like a suit worn by an office worker?”
The five awakened that were around Kim Tae Hoon looked towards the soldiers who were holding onto their rifles.
The soldiers’ eyes were not those of simple gunmen.
Although they hadn’t been like this for long, they had the eyes of those who had survived through many monster raids in a short amount of time.
They were those who were ready to the pull trigger when needed to.
“Then, let me tell you again. It’s simple. You awakened are now hunting under the Mek Clan. If you don’t like the term ‘hunting dog’ you can go by ‘hunter’ instead. If that’s what’s important to you, than take care of it. You Mek Clan hound dogs will give 40% of all monster stones you find to the clan.”
Chang Sung Hoon concisely summarized what he wanted to say.
The five awakened avoided answering him. While avoiding, they also squinted their eyes and looked at Kim Tae Hoon.
It was very sudden.
The blizzard had passed by the time the night ended, and as a white world unfolded before them, news was delivered to a Messiah remnant that was located in the Bucheon City Hall.
Messiah’s leader, Lee Jin Sung, had died, and the Mek Clan’s leader, Kim Tae Hoon, wanted to negotiate with the remaining leaders of Messiah.
The negotiation itself was easily arranged.
Quite frankly, none of them were loyal towards those who had died.
In addition, none of them wanted to make sacrifices in a war against the Mek Clan while not knowing who they were.
In fact, it was quite the opposite. There were many who welcomed the Mek Clan.
Proposing a negotiation implied that the burden of going to war with Messiah was too much to handle.
‘This isn’t a negotiation, it’s a threat.’
But the negotiation table turned out differently than the leaders of Messiah thought.
Mek Clan’s representative, Chang Sung Hoon, demanded two things from Messiah.
One, the awakened from Messiah were to be the Mek Clan’s hounds.
Two, all of the awakened from Messiah will fork over 40% of the monster stones that they find.
That was the proposal prepared by Chang Sung Hoon.
‘Bucheon City is not a rural city, it was a very large and populated novel that had a population of over 800,000 people. If I have any hopes of controlling the hundreds of thousands of people who live here, then I need to come up with a system.’
When Kim Tae Hoon agreed to Chang Sung Hoon’s proposal to establish a base in Bucheon and create a clan, he didn’t think that Kim Tae Hoon would have a way to run the Mek Clan.
The current Mek Clan was a group that existed solely for Kim Tae Hoon.
A group that could not go against anything that Kim Tae Hoon would say.
A group who could carry out Kim Tae Hoon’s orders perfectly.
A group that could be controlled perfectly.
But it was only possible because of Mek Clan’s size, since they consisted of fifty people.
But since they are stationed in Bucheon City, the story would changed once the survivors here fell under his control.
It was impossible to have complete control over the tens of thousands of people.
It was something that nobody had ever been and never will be able to do.
‘It would be impossible for boss to monopolize everything.’
Especially the awakened. There needed to be special conditions to control the awakened.
It would be impossible to take all the monsters stone like Kim Tae Hoon had been doing until now.
“Seeing as how you’re not answering it would seem as though you’re not understanding, but you only need to pay up 40% of any monster stones you acquire. I don’t care what you do with the bodies. And if you kill a special monster, we can negotiate a price if you don’t mind selling it to us. Whatever you reap is yours to keep. We just want you to notify us of whatever you keep. I didn’t notice at first, but later I found out about the patterns that appear on an awakened’s hand and the strange abilities that people acquire, so if left alone you’ll run into problems.”
That was why Chang Sung Hoon was trying to tie Kim Tae Hoon and the other surviving awakened with a simple relationship.
“Simply put, a give and take.”
Give and take.
A simple concept that even a child could understand.
On the basis of that concept, Chang Sung Hoon tried to get the survivors to offer up 40% of their monster stones to the Mek Clan.
“40%······ what do we get by giving you 40%?”
Of course, listening to the proposal, it just sounded like they were being taken away for no reason.
That was why the five executives could not give a straight answer.
So Chang Sung Hoon explained it more.
“For now, we live your lives in your own hands. You don’t want to die now do you?”
“Is that a joke. What a joke. Hahaha, if you really wanted to kill us, why would you call us this place? Your only way would be to shoot those of us with tattoos on our hands with guns.”
“······Is that a threat?”
The silent Kim Tae Hoon stepped forward and spoke before Chang Sung Hoon could.
Quite frankly, everyone tensed up.
It was five awakened against Kim Tae Hoon while Chang Sung Hoon hid behind Kim Tae Hoon’s back.
The atmosphere tensed up.
Kim Tae Hoon low voice cut through the tense atmosphere.
“It’s a 40% tax. A tax for hunting the monsters in my turf.”
Someone with great courage spoke up.
“This isn’t your turf now though is it? Even knowing that, you still have the gall to ask for 40%······.”
Kim Tae Hoon didn’t get angry. Instead, he stayed calm.
“Then to whom does this turf belong to?”
The awakened thought to themselves.
Who does Bucheon belong to right now?
The answer was obvious.
In this messed up world, the strong would be the master of all, so in the present time, the master would be the Yellow Eyed Demon who had settled in the subway station.
The area within a 12 dozen kilometer radius of Bucheon City Hall was the Yellow Eyed Demon’s territory.
But it wasn’t something that people would be able to say easily.
They couldn’t come to acknowledge the fact that the land no longer belonged to the humans, but to the monsters.
The people who had gathered definitely felt like their feet were hanging off a cliff, with nothing but despair before them.
Except one person.
“Right now? It would be the Yellow Eyed Demon’s territory.”
Kim Tae Hoon spoke without any hesitation.
“It’s simple, who ever kills the Yellow Eyed Demon will be the new ruler of this land.”
There was something that he wanted to give to the survivors.
It was hope.
He wanted to give the survivors at the bottom of the food chain hope that they would no longer have to live in fear of the Yellow-Eyed Demon.
“40%. If you think you can get away with skewing the numbers, then fine. As long as it goes unnoticed.”
With that, there were no more questions.
Kim Tae Hoon stepped back as Chang Sung Hoon took the lead again, smiling at the stiff expressions of the five awakened.
“There will be no contract. This is a proposal based on mutual trust. I’ll trust everyone’s word. Doesn’t everyone desire to survive? Who would want to keep living in fear of someday being the next living sacrifice? None of you want to die, right?”