Chapter 45 – This is MY Land (1)
It had been a long time since the Bucheon City Council meeting hall located next to the Bucheon City Hall had been filled with people.
However, the atmosphere was different from what it would usually be.
The faces of the six men and women attending the meeting, and the man standing before a map of Bucheon City on a whiteboard were not like that of those who were planning a budget.
“According to Daedongyeojido as of now, a green rank monster located in Gwangmyeong City to the east of Bucheon has moved about two kilometers.”
The man in front of the map, Chang Sung Hoon, pointed a green laser pointer at Gwangmyeong City which was to the right of Bucheon.
The laser pointer was heading towards Bucheon City.
“Since we’ve never actually fought against a green ranked monster, we obviously can’t specifically gauge how strong it is. However, it’s pretty obvious that we can’t deal with such a monster at the moment.”
The group which consisted of Kim Su Ji, Ahn Sun Mi, Bang Hyun Wook, and the newly appointed clan masters of the now affiliated clans, Lee Su Young and Yang Jung Hwan, couldn’t help but have stiff expressions.
It was a natural expression.
“Anyways, a green grade monster will be a superior predator that could easily get rid of a yellow grade monster like the Black Snake.”
It hadn’t been long since they had been terrorized by the Black Snake.
However, was a green level monster that was a grade higher than the Black Snake approaching Bucheon City?
“However, although it has moved, we don’t know if it’s approaching Bucheon City . The problem is that the other monsters have started to move, so the existing monsters are being pushed towards Bucheon. According to Daedongyeojido, the monsters in Gwangmyeong City are being pushed towards Bucheon.”
Green ranked monsters were far more terrifying than the average monster.
The monsters would have no choice but to run away.
“There is another yellow ranked monster approaching Bucheon City. So as it moves, the orange ranked monsters would run away and head towards Bucheon. In addition, the number of monsters in Bucheon have dwindled as a result of the increase in hunters. The other monsters will view it as a paradise.”
The briefing explained everything.
Nobody asked any questions.
‘Just when I had thought things were quieting down, it turns out it was just the calm before the storm.’
In fact, the questions they had were overflowing, but nobody had the mind or the mental strength to ask any.
The only one who didn’t feel the pressure, Kim Tae Hoon, was simply swishing coffee in his mouth.
However Kim Tae Hoon wasn’t so lax that he was simply enjoying his coffee. For Kim Tae Hoon, coffee was a means to maintain his composure, not a means for him to relax.
Having swallowed his coffee, Kim Tae Hoon began to speak.
“What are our choices?”
“We can run away or fight. It’s one or the other.”
The Mek Guild only had two choices in this situation.
But for the sake of their survival, there was only one real answer.
“If it comes into our land, we have no choice but to fight.”
The robust looking man in his mid thirties, conscious of the reality of the situation, immediately picked an option without hesitation.
The man’s name was Yang Jung Hwan.
He was the clan master of the Starfish Clan under the Mek Guild.
“Defending would become a war of attrition. With our current supply of ammunition, it would be impossible to hold out for a long time. It’s imperative that we refill on ammo and guns.”
Hearing Yang Jung Hwan’s suggestion to just open the floodgates, Kim Su Ji interjected with her own opinion.
“If I were to speak from a medic’s point of view, if our soldiers incurred injuries that required surgical procedures, then nine out of ten would die. With no electricity and no way to get blood transfusions, survival rate is nothing but empty words. We’re also nearly out of Mud Troll’s Flesh.”
Ahn Sun Mi also gave her opinion.
“Then is there somewhere we can refill supplies from? How do we resupply on weapons?”
Lee Su Young, the other clan master, asked a question.
“There’s a base down the south towards Siheung and Incheon where some subordinate units of the 17th Division were stationed where we can find some weapons.”
The answer came out of Chang Sung Hoon’s mouth.
At the same time, Chang Sung Hoon went over the situation again.
“Eventually, we’ll need to fight and resupply simultaneously. That means that Boss can only fulfill one of the missions.”
The group shut their mouths again.
Kim Tae Hoon also drank coffee again.
This was the key.
Kim Tae Hoon had been responsible for all the difficult parts up till now.
And he had easily resolved these problems.
That was why everyone couldn’t help but put Kim Tae Hoon in a good light, regardless of their own personal feelings.
But things were different this time around.
Kim Tae Hoon could only do one of the two things. He could either leave Bucheon in search of supplies, or fight the incoming monsters. It was impossible to do both simultaneously.
In the end, someone was needed to take charge of the option that Kim Tae Hoon chose not to take.
“Although there is the 17th Division, there’s also the 3rd Logistical Support Commands Center in Incheon’s Bupyeong district.”
The first choice for this situation would by Yang Jung Hwan.
“There’s no way to guarantee that the 17th Division’s Base would have supplies, but there’s also no way that the command center’s supply warehouse would be empty. Note that there are two former soldiers of the Samma Unit in our clans, one of which was formerly stationed in Gyeyang District as part of an ammunitions company.”
[TN: Samma Unit is the colloquial name for the 3rd Logistical Support Command, which is a unit under the Third Republic of Korea Army. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Republic_of_Korea_Army#Third_Republic_of_Korea_Army_.28TROKA.29_.28.EC.A0.9C3.EC.95.BC.EC.A0.84.EA.B5.B0.29%5D
At that moment, Yang Jung Hwan fished out a card that he had hidden on his person.
It was an alias of the Samma Unit.
A Logistical Support Command unit was just like as its name stated, a unit that supported the military with supplies. It was responsible for daily necessities, ammunition, and explosive shells!
If you were a soldier from the Samma Unit, and were responsible for ammunition, then you would at least know the location of where the ammunition was stored.
Yang Jung Hwan had said it with his own mouth a little while ago. One of the former soldiers of the Samma Unit was from Gyeyang District and was part of an ammunitions company.
“If it’s Gyeyang District······.”
“It’s six kilometers away from here if we went in a straight line, but since we can’t fly, a round trip would end up being around 20 kilometers.”
Incheon City’s Gyeyang District was located about 6 kilometers from Bucheon City.
They would have to walk.
So a distance of 6 kilometers was a thinly veiled lie.
Yang Jung Hwan’s plan was to utilize the guns and ammunition he had received from the Mek Guild to advance towards Gyeyang District, where he would be able to resupply and transport supplies from the supply warehouses back to Bucheon.
He had no intention of rebelling against Kim Tae Hoon. Since ammunition could replace the usage of traditional currency, there was no need to harbor any sort of malintent.
In other words, the 3rd Logistical Support Command Center was a treasure trove that only Yang Jung Hwan had a map to.
But he had willingly revealed the information.
He had revealed his Starfish Clan’s hidden card to none other than Kim Tae Hoon.
“As you may have guessed, I have been hiding things from you, but I don’t mind revealing some things as the situation permits.”
In other words, Yang Jung Hwan was very serious about the current situation.
“In the end, if I end up dying without saying anything, then there’ll be no point of keeping a hidden card. Although the 17th Divison’s base is tempting, Gyeyang District is much closer. In addition, the aforementioned ammunitions company was only a little over a year old. There’ll definitely be familiar faces there. If there are survivors, that is.”
“Then can we be the ones to clean out the 17th Division?”
Lee Su Young unhesitatingly accepted her role.
Although it would be exceedingly dangerous to try to clean out the 17th Division, she didn’t speak out against the situation.
If she were to hesitate at that prospect, then she would have never stepped forward when Kim Tae Hoon commanded any prospective clan masters to cut off their fingers.
Both clans volunteered to go for the supplies.
“The roles have roughly been assigned.”
The remaining tasks would be split amongst the Mek Guild members.
It was time for the Mek Guild to start preparing for the monster invasion.
Now was the time to prepare.
“Now let’s take a look at some items.”
Since the advent of monsters, most people had lost themselves.
However, not everyone was like that.
He was 70 years old by the time it become 2017, and he had been making leather shoes for 50 years.
A craftsman who had been mastering his craft for a half century.
But Park Gabsu had never been treated like a craftsman. He was constantly exploited since the start. He was forced to work menial jobs no different from that of a maintenance man under the pretense of learning about technology, but even though he never failed to complete his work, the days where he received his paycheck on time could be counted on one hand.
He was exploited every step of the way until the very end. The president of the shoe factory he worked at ran away after pushing back two years worth of wages.
He was tossed out into the world at the age of sixty-five without a penny to his name. On top of having been unable to properly save up money as a result of missing pay checks, he was denied severance pay, forcing him to live like a beggar.
A life where free food from volunteer organizations was no different from a dinner banquet.
Funnily enough, it was only after the appearance of monsters had devastated the world that he started receiving the proper treatment a craftsman was due.
“Shoe maker-nim! Those people have come.”
Park Gabsu looked at the thirty year old man who had called out to him.
Before the appearance of the monsters, that man had been a lawyer. A young lawyer who drove around in expensive foreign cars.
If it were in the past, he was someone who Park Gabsu would feel uncomfortable making eye contact with solely because of the age difference.
But now, he was one of Park Gabsu’s apprentices.
He wasn’t forced to.
It was the opposite. It was evidence of his shrewdness.
He had quickly come to the realization that someone with the ability to manipulate leather would survive and perhaps thrive as opposed to a lawyer.
There were many people who thought the same. In fact, when Park Gabsu, who had been assigned to a workshop under the Mek Guild, went to gather more people, flocks of survivors had arrived to take the test.
For Park Gabsu, someone who had never had a disciple to call his own, it was like the opening of the sea gates.
“Prepare the materials.”
It took awhile for him to realize this was real.
However, as time passed, Park Gabsu began to come to terms with this new reality, and he finally began to take pride in his skills as a craftsman.
That was the reason why.
“Has everyone come?”
“Apologies for coming so suddenly.”
“No it’s ok. More than that, I’ve increased production like you’ve asked. There are now 20 sets of armor made from Black Snake’s leather.”
It wouldn’t be unusual to leave the world at the age of seventy.
“Well isn’t that the only thing I do? There’s no reason that it’d be any slower.”
Chang Sung Hoon forced a smile after listening to what Park Gabsu said.
Meanwhile, Kim Tae Hoon, who was standing behind Chang Sung Hoon, bowed deeply towards Park Gabsu.
“My name is Kim Tae Hoon.”
Hearing that, Park Gabsu looked at Kim Tae Hoon with a surprised look on his face.
“I should have sought you out earlier, my apologies.”
“I, it’s ok.”
Kim Tae Hoon wasn’t a simple existence to the survivors. He was the only lamp in this world of darkness.
As far as Park Gabsu was concerned, Kim Tae Hoon was the reason why Park Gabsu’s 50 years of shoemaking went from trash to amazing.
“Please allow me to be rude since time is short. May I take a look at the goods?”
An armor made of Black Snake leather was displayed to Kim Tae Hoon as soon as Park Gabsu gave the command.
The armor’s design was quite simple.
For now, there weren’t many parts of it.
It consisted of a vest, elbow and knee guards, and arm and leg protectors.
But it wasn’t crude.
Although the leather itself had a very attractive, pitch-black sheen, the pitch-black sheen of the leather inside the tannery was condensing.
But of course it wasn’t amazing either.
Everyone who had followed Kim Tae Hoon took out their smart phones and began to take pictures of the armor.
The light in Kim Tae Hoon’s eyes changed as well. His eyes turned completely black.
[Black Snake’s Leather]
– Physical Defense : C Rank
– Magic Resistance : D Rank
– Increases the recovery speed of Energy.
– Strengthens Energy.
– When Energy is circulated through the leather, physical defense increases.
The Black Snake’s Leather options were revealed.
They were quite amazing.
Having already been briefed on it, Kim Tae Hoon was still surprised.
As for Yang Jung Hwan and Lee Su Young who had not known anything beforehand, they were even more surprised.
‘If it’s this much······ then even if I get into a melee with an orange grade monster, I don’t think I would be pushed into a corner.’
‘Three sets. If I can get my hands on just three sets, I could formulate new tactics.’
Since many of their clan members fought in close combat, these sets of armor were more valuable than guns.
“We’ve already completed twenty sets. With the increased personnel, we can put out three sets a day. With the amount of Black Snake leather on hand, I expect we can make ninety sets.”
But the surprise didn’t end there.
“I’ve also completed over the powder like you’ve asked.”
Park Gabsu fished out a plastic package. Inside the multi-layer plastic pack was yellow powder.
[Black Snake’s Eyes]
– Grants the ability to use the Black Snake’s ability [Black Snake’s Evil Eyes] upon consumption.
It was a powder made from the Black Snake’s eyeballs.
It had the effect of temporarily allowing the usage of the Black Snake’s Evil Eyes when consumed.
Of course it wasn’t as high in grade as the ability that Kim Tae Hoon possessed. It was a downgraded version.
But that alone was still a valuable ability to have access to.
If you handed a gun to those who consumed the powder, their accuracy would dramatically increase.
The benefits didn’t stop there.
The effects the powder gave during battle transcended imagination.
The final items were four blades.
The entire length was like the arm of an adult male.
However, the design was a bit unique. Instead of calling it a blade······.
“It’s the Black Snake’s fangs.”
The appearance was very close to the original Black Snake’s fangs.
[Black Snake’s Fangs]
– Circulating Energy through the fangs will increase its cutting ability.
They were the Black Snake’s fangs.
The only four fangs you could extract from one snake.
“Now all that’s left is to form the hilts. However, since the materials are so unique, I plan to craft the hilts out of the Black Snake leather and match the grips to the future owner. That way the user will be able to get used to it faster.”
All it needed before it became a powerful weapon was a hilt.
At the end of Park Gab Su’s statement, Kim Tae Hoon turned his head.
He looked at Yang Jung Hwan and Lee Su Young.
“As described in the contract, you’ll be paid for the missions you do.”
As Kim Tae Hoon finished speaking, the two of them swallowed their saliva.
“Usually, I would pay after the job gets done, but the situation is different now, so I’ll pay you in advance. I’ll give both of you one Black Snake’s Fang and three sets of the Black Snake’s Leather.”
The two of them gulped.
But Kim Tae Hoon hadn’t finished speaking.
“They’re not for free. Although I’m paying in advance, if the number of monsters killed isn’t to my satisfaction, I’m tearing up the contract.”
Hearing that, the two silently nodded.