Chapter 36 – Turf War (3)
Under an overpass.
“Stab it! Stab!”
What was originally an area bustling with cars was now a battlefield soaked in blood.
It was a battle between three orcs and nine humans.
“Damn it, what kind of monster strength······.”
“Spear! Throw one of the spears!”
It was a primitive and brutal type of warfare. While fighting against the monsters, the humans were armed with simple sharpened pipes as spears and car doors as shields.
And it was a desperate battle.
“Spray! Hurry and use the spray can!”
The orcs’ opponents were doing everything they could to fight back.
The humans were in a line like you would see in an American Football game, their car-door shields being struck by the orcs. Some of the humans who wore motorcycle helmets on their heads began to paint the orcs’ eyes and mouths black with the bottles of spray paint in their hands.
One of the men stabbed an orc with all of his strength, driving his sharpened pipe forward.
In that desperate struggle, victory was quickly approaching the humans.
The bloodthirsty orcs were like hedgehogs. There were spears sticking out of their bodies, causing them to cry out in pain.
“It’s almost done!”
The faces of the humans began to bloom into smiles, confident in their chances of victory.
Right up until an orc that was larger than any they had seen before appeared on the bridge.
“On the overpass! On the overpass!”
The oversized orc was clearly some sort of leader of the orcs, its appearance dashing their hopes.
It seized the opportunity to reverse the moral of both orcs and humans, swelling its chest and letting out a roar.
Its roar resounded throughout the area, sweeping through the area like a wildfire.
Immediately, some of the humans’ legs began to tremble.
The momentum they had built up vanished like a used up candle.
The battlefield had changed.
“Keep your wits about you!”
“Hang on! They’re all on their dying breaths!”
Although there was a human trying to raise morale, the chief orc moved towards the overpass’ ledge, seemingly laughing at them.
It was going to throw its huge body into the fray.
At that moment, something approached the chief orc from its left side at an alarming pace.
When the chief orc turned its head, it saw the head of a hammer you would find in a factory.
The hammer smashed into the orc’s face, crushing its face and skull.
The chief orc’s head was like the inside of a watermelon.
The man who had ended the orc’s life in one blow, Bang Hyun Wook, had his leg hoisted on the overpass’ ledge while yelling.
“I’ll be taking this one then.”
Bang Hyun Wook’s words kindled their desire to fight instead of provoking their ire.
“Kill them! It’ll be over once we kill these bitches!”
Compared to the humans, seeing that their leader had fallen, the orcs’ courage began to falter.
Afterwards, the battle was completely one-sided.
The three orcs became nothing more than corpses, and those who had survived the battle let out long sighs.
Maybe it was because there was a shortage, but some of the men began to gently fish out cigarettes before carefully smoking them.
Watching the scene for a little bit, Bang Hyun Wook then turned his head. He saw Chang Sung Hoon observing the buildings in their surroundings, a map in his hands.
“The buildings in this area haven’t been cleared out yet, isn’t it dangerous here?”
Asking that, Bang Hyun Wook began to look around. There wasn’t a single white flag visible anywhere near those buildings.
“Well that’s why I dragged you along.”
“No, it’s more than that······ if I run into a problem I can just leave with hyung, but the people down there······.”
Hearing that, Chang Sung Hoon folded his map and looked down at the humans who were busily extracting the monster stones from the orcs.
“You would have to take risks if you want to save them.”
“And if I die?”
“It’s better than not doing anything then dying. Regardless, it’s not like you intend to die, right?”
Thinking of those who would do anything to survive, Chang Sung Hoon let out a sigh.
‘Looks like the parties are growing.’
Groups of survivors began to hunt within the Mek Clan’s domain.
‘It’s what I wanted.’
After Kim Tae Hoon had required a 40% tax, some of the survivors began to actively hunt for monsters. There was more activity compared to when Lee Jin Sung had been the leader.
There were many reasons.
‘If it’s that much, we have to at least express good will.’
For now, since Kim Tae Hoon could get monster stones through the Mek Clan, then he needed to reveal some tricks of the trade.
He revealed the reason behind why he used spray paints, the recipes to the toxic concoctions he made with pesticides, petroleum, and other various toxins, and the weaknesses of some of the monsters he had encountered.
The Mek Clan also began to move out. They started hunting the stronger orange-eyed monsters instead of the weaker red-eyed variants, and they also began hunting down the herd monsters.
Outside of wandering or fugitive solitary monsters, there were no large groups of monsters within the vicinity of any buildings where the Mek Clan had hoisted a white flag. Safe hunting was made possible thanks to the hound dogs who took care of the more dangerous creatures.
Of course, the biggest reason was the 40% tax.
‘More than that, are those guys wearing orc leather armor? It’s well made. There’s a rumor floating around that an old cobbler is making leather equipment in exchange for monster stones······ I suppose I should greet him eventually.’
Aside from the 40%, the rest was up to the hound dogs.
Basically, it was up to the hound dogs to choose what to do with the remaining monster stones and monster bodies.
That didn’t mean they could be careless with their resources though. If they ever thought they could be careless, they would never have embarked on the road to be a hunter.
They were hunting because there was something to get out of it.
They hunted so that they could have a steady supply of materials to fuel their consumption.
‘Since an ecosystem has been settled, they would use their heads to develop easier methods for survival.’
There were definitely those who were trying to develop more efficient and effective ways to utilize monster parts.
The old cobbler, a craftsman who had turned to crafting leather armor out of monster skin; a construction worker was using construction materials to create various sharp weapons like spears or knives; and a worker from a car factory had even outfitted a tram for the purposes of smashing monsters.
‘At least now the area is somewhat appropriate to live in.’
Humans had adapted to the situation in order to survive.
Humans had become the top predator by demonstrating their creativity and by improving upon preexisting inventions and tools.
It was the same even in this era of monsters.
If humans wanted to survive in this era, then they had no choice but to adapt.
‘Once boss kills the demon snake, the number of parties will explode. The smarter ones will probably create their own force like ours.’
But of course, should Kim Tae Hoon fail to kill the demon snake, then everything they had built up to this point would collapse.
“Rather than that, you’ve been looking at the map an awul lot hyun, what are you looking for?”
“Well, we have to check the monsters’ territories. There’s a pretty high chance that there are strong monsters dwelling in the the apartments and housing complexes.”
“Amazing. Honestly, who knows if hyungnim can even kill the snake, it might just be a pipe dream.”
If Kim Tae Hoon fails to kill the snake and ends up dying, then Bucheon would definitely have only dark days ahead.
There would be many scenes where humans would fight each other instead of the monsters.
The survivors in Bucheon would literally all perish.
However, Chang Sung Hoon didn’t think that Kim Tae Hoon would fail.
“We won’t figure out the answer just because we’re worrying about it.”
That was the reason why they had come out here.
“All we need to concern ourselves with is what comes after boss kills the snake.”
‘It’s definitely somewhere here. Baek Sung Taek’s secret warehouse where he stored all of his artwork is definitely here somewhere.’
It was Chang Sung Hoon’s responsibility to plan what came after Kim Tae Hoon killed the demon snake.
‘But still, I can’t actually see everything just because of a map. Are there any map-like relics that exist? M-maybe something like a maphack?!’
After Kim Tae Hoon swallowed another monster stone, he took a picture of his right hand.
– Strength : 100
– Stamina : 89
His Strength had finally exceeded 100 points.
It was amazing.
‘Progress is just as fast as when I monopolized everything.’
What was even more amazing was the fact that Kim Tae Hoon hadn’t hunted a single monster for those stones.
But regardless, his rate of progression was just as fast as when he was fighting on the front lines.
‘Chang Sung Hoon was right.’
It was all thanks to Chang Sung Hoon.
His system had turned any and all survivors into hunters.
The hunters hunted more and more monsters, and as the number of monsters killed went up, the amount of monster stones at his disposal also went up.
Of course, it wasn’t all for free.
Kim Tae Hoon lifted his head.
Orbiting around Kim Tae Hoon like a satellite was the Sword of the Commander.
Its movements were very smooth. It was as though the sword had a life of its own.
It was thanks to the strenuous training that he had been going through.
‘It finally reached a decent level.’
Although Telekinesis had a set potential, it’s utility was unfathomable.
However, the user wouldn’t be able to cover the infinite number of ways to utilize it.
Just like how an F1 race car had no meaning when in the hands of an average person.
A child who held onto scalpels and surgical scissors didn’t automatically become a doctor.
The same was true for Kim Tae Hoon.
Telekinesis’ value may be unfathomable, but Kim Tae Hoon’s ability to utilize it was woefully low.
Of course, with enough training and practice, the ways Kim Tae Hoon could utilize it would become just as unfathomable.
Unfortunately, Kim Tae Hoon didn’t exactly have the time to practice and learn the nuances of his ability, at least not right now.
Instead, he sought to simply be better than he was before.
To be faster than before, stronger than before, and more precise than before!
He was training his Telekinesis so that he could manipulate a sword to be faster and more precise.
Moving according to his thoughts, the orbiting Sword of the Commander shot out.
Like an arrow.
The sword skimmed the top of an erect tire located behind Kim Tae Hoon, grazing right past it.
Following the sound of the wind, a flap from the top of the tire fell off.
The most recent slice had landed on top of a pile of previously cut tire chunks.
The ones at the bottom of the pile were thicker than a finger, but as you went up, the slices became thinner and thinner.
The ones at the top of the pile were like thin sheets of paper.
Kim Tae Hoon let out a long breath.
He was like a steamboat that had already embarked. [TN: Maybe referring to the cold and how when he exhales his breath would be like a white mist?]
Demon snake, this beast had been feeling rather irate lately.
Recently, it had only been able to feast on cold bodies. Eating cold food in cold weather was a crime against eating itself.
But because the Demon Snake could not stand the cold, it had endured.
However, the Demon Snake couldn’t stand it anymore.
Today was the day that the Demon Snake was going to fill its stomach with a nice warm meal. It didn’t even want to look at the usual pile of bodies.
By this point, the location where the bodies would usually be was like a dining table for the snake.
And as always, there was something there.
There was a single body all by itself.
Seeing that, the demon snake was angry. A mockery! One sacrifice wouldn’t be nearly enough to satisfy the snake!
Furthermore, there was a disgusting stench coming off the body.
The demon serpent immediately realized that this body was not a sacrifice, but a poison!
The demon snake grew angrier and eventually, he harbored no intentions to endure his rage.
It felt that it needed to demonstrate its power and majesty once more.
The demon snake began to slither up the steps without hesitation.
The cold air did not dare to block the enraged demon snake’s path.
The demon snake suddenly burst through the entrance of the subway.
It began to once more revel in the sunlight.
At the same time, a large bus rushed towards the demon snake.
It wasn’t long before the bus slammed into the snake, turning into nothing more than a scrap.
On the other hand, the snake merely trembled and squirmed, but did not fall or move from its spot.
Instead, the demon snake’s yellow eyes gave off a murderous intent.
The demon snake slammed its tail against the bus that had slammed into its body.
It crushed the bus and split it in half, like chopsticks cutting through tofu.
As though that weren’t enough, the demon snake also began to smash the street around it with its tail.
There were terrible scars on the ground.
In fact, the whole world seemed to have frozen in fear. A stifling silence filled the surroundings.
A loud howl cut through the silence.
That same howl shook the demon snake’s body. The demon snake’s eyes narrowed until they were like mere threads.
The shape of its pupils were indicative of its anger.
Some bastard werewolf had dared to trespass onto its territory and use its Howling on the snake, clearly challenging its authority.
The demon snake had no intention of letting it go.
The demon snake rushed towards the sound of the Howling.
The demon snake soon arrived at an empty lot that had been reserved for construction.
And on that plot of empty land was a lone man who had come out to greet it.