So, here’s the catch. I don’t know if the Six Snakes (Sixth Snake) is a single person or an organization. The language keeps swapping between plural and singular, so when I actually figure it out, I’ll be sure to let you all know. Just keep in mind that I myself am not sure at the moment.
Chapter 56 – National Treasure
**Not starring Nicholas Cage
Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk.
The two soldiers from the 35th Battalion Special Assault Team had the same nickname.
Even within the 35th Battalion Special Assault Team where only the best of the best were recruited, the both of them had stood out.
Their inherent talent was superior, their goals were placed higher, and their determination to strive towards their goals was also outstanding.
They had it all.
Pride, self-esteem, and self-confidence!
All of these things gave them conviction. They were confident that despite whatever happened, be it accidents or unplanned circumstances, they would be able to accomplish the task assigned to them.
But everything they had broke into pieces on December 31st.
In the battles following the appearance of the monsters, they found themselves unable to do anything.
They couldn’t kill the monsters they needed to kill, they couldn’t get to where they needed to, they couldn’t keep what they needed to keep, and they couldn’t save those that they needed to save.
It was a series of terrible failures across the span of a few terrible days.
And at the end of all of that was despair.
Battle after battle, one day they looked around in the middle of a battle and realized that the Korea that they remembered no longer existed.
Skyscrapers were collapsed onto the floor entangled with each other, there were broken and mangled bodies strewn about with some even having been eaten partway through, and as the clock kept ticking, screams resounded from every corner of the city.
The future given to those who had survived was merely a culmination of despair.
There weren’t many people who were crazy about having to face more despair despite the fact that they survived.
Both Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk had thought that the world would only amount to that.
In fact, they were right.
Wherever they went, inside or outside of Seoul, despair was overflowing with no hope to be seen.
But this place was different.
Kim Joohyuk and Kim Yuri had only seen the city on a map, but now they realized that this energetic city could not be on the map.
There was construction work being done in a park for the purposes of installing solar panels, other public spaces were reserved for monster dismantling, and survivors were found to be clearing out ruins and roads.
They could even see workers on break, smoking and laughing while some were eating chocolate bars or ramen noodles.
‘How can they laugh?’
Those weren’t working at the moment were laughing and casually talking.
It was a scene that would never been seen in Seoul. The survivors in Seoul carried out similar jobs, but in their case, it was essentially forced labor. The only way to receive rations was to carry out hard labor while under the barrel of a gun.
‘It’s like a different world here.’
The most surprising thing was the people who noticed that Kim Tae Hoon had appeared.
It wasn’t enough to simply describe with words such as respect, faith, or love.
It was more than that.
There were no words to describe what they were expressing.
It was something else.
In Seoul, the Awakened and the soldiers were looked upon with fear and trepidation, not respect and admiration.
It was shocking in many ways.
Both Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk were so shocked that they couldn’t attempt to escape while following after Kim Tae Hoon.
The two of them eventually arrived at the Bucheon City Hall without having formulated any plans.
The first to greet them was Bang Hyun Wook.
His entire body was exuding appreciation towards Kim Tae Hoon. Bang Hyun Wook then noticed Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk behind Kim Tae Hoon.
“Huh? Who are these two guests?”
Kim Tae Hoon rarely ever brought along people with him, and both Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk gave Bang Hyun Wook the same feeling that Kim Tae Hoon had given him when they had first met.
Kim Tae Hoon gave a simple description.
“If they start acting out of line, kill them.”
Bang Hyun Wook had a confused expression on his face.
The same was true for Kim Joohyuk and Kim Yuri. In the face of Kim Tae Hoon’s sudden and groundless command, Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk were not sure if they should retort or just keep their mouths closed.
The two of them stared blankly like two robots whose programming had broken down.
Meanwhile, another person made their appearance.
As soon as she appeared, Junior Lieutenant Kim Soo Ji saluted Kim Tae Hoon.
“You’ve arrived, Major Kim Tae Hoon?”
She immediately turned to look at the two behind Kim Tae Hoon.
‘Are they soldiers from the special forces.’
She had grown up in a soldier’s household. A mere moment was all she required to see what kind of people they were.
‘Is the Mek Guild a force built upon soldiers?’
It was the same for both Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk.
Both their gazes changed as soon as they laid eyes on Junior Lieutenant Kim Soo Ji.
“Sergeant First Class Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk. Monitor these two so that they don’t leave the city hall.”
“What about Chang Sung Hoon?”
“He’s on his way sir.”
Speaking of the devil, as soon as he asked, Chang Sung Hoon arrived. The moment he arrived, Chang Sung Hoon looked at the two soldiers behind Kim Tae Hoon and spoke.
“Two new faces I see. I’m getting a familiar feeling from you two…… A couple? Lovers? Husband and wife?”
Tuk, as soon as Chang Sung Hoon’s words landed on their ears, both Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk shook their heads with embarrassed expressions.
“Th, that’s wrong.”
“It’s not that kind of relationship.”
“But it looks like the man is happy about something and the woman looks like she’s determined……”
At the end of Chang Sung Hoon’s little blurb, Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk turned their heads towards each other. Kim Joohyuk cleared his throat while Kim Yuri’s expression got colder.
Chang Sung Hoon exchanged a glance with Kim Tae Hoon. Kim Tae Hoon rolled his eyes upwards.
It was a sign to talk in the mayor’s office.
In other words, they needed to separate themselves from Kim Yuri and Kim Joohyuk for a little while.
”Well, welcome. Since you are guests, please accept our hospitality. Hyun Wook, escort our guests to the waiting room by the mayor’s office. Junior Lieutenant Kim Soo Jim why don’t you accompany him?”
Chang Sung Hoon was naturally prepared for this situation.
“So what happened?”
Sitting across from each other, Chang Sung Hoon asked Kim Tae Hoon with a serious expression on his face.
Kim Tae Hoon explained how things transpired at Gimpo International Airport.
Having heard the story, Chang Sung Hoon let out a long sigh.
“So even the president and the prime minister are gone? Wait, then who is making the decisions if the two of them are gone?”
“In this circumstance, it would normally be either of the deputy prime ministers, but in actuality, only the prime minister would actually matter.”
“Does neither the Speaker of the National Assembly or the Chief Justice have any power in this situation?”
“Well the surviving forces are mostly forces of the military. As a result, only the president or prime minister would have any real influence over them. Anyways, it’s a justification to fight.”
“Did they really die? Could they be hiding?”
“There’s no way to know for sure, but if we had to choose, the former would be better for our situation. In the latter case…… there would be forces that would be willing to use the prime minister and president as weapons.”
Chang Sung Hoon tapped on the desk with his fingers.
“For now, if we were to summarize the situation, then it boils down to the Capital Defense Command having occupied Seoul. And the Six Snakes that Boss had spoken of could be growing in power in the capital.”
Kim Tae Hoon nodded his head.
“The best course of action is to nip the problem at the bud…… even if you were to kill Oh Saebum, it wouldn’t guarantee that this problem would be resolved. Rather, killing him would make things worse. No, even if you wanted to kill him, it’s not like you could go to Seoul. What a pain in the neck.”
The problem was that no matter what they chose to do, there were many restrictions placed on them.
There were many things to have to consider simply just going to Seoul from Bucheon, and on top of that, the city of Seoul in their memories was no longer the same city. It was a labyrinth of hell.
“Plus we can’t just leave the Sixth Snake to his own devices and let him slowly gain in power.”
The bigger problem was that it was impossible to treat this problem like people in other countries have.
The current destiny was fixed. Kim Tae Hoon was living to destroy that fixed destiny.
“The zero-sum game will eventually have a winner.”
Kim Tae Hoon’s answer in this situation was simple.
“That’s right. Even though everyone is supposed to eat from the same pie, the one who grabs the biggest portion will eventually grab the whole pie.”
“Relics and monster stones. The side that eats the most will be the eventual winner.”
Chang Sung Hoon was able to express the answer that Kim Tae Hoon had set his mind on.
“In exchange for doing the government’s work and handling their needs, you plan to take their relics?”
The plate was set.
Mek Guild would don the government’s mantle and go hunt monsters on behalf of the Capital Defense Command in Seoul.
They would do the work that the government is responsible for.
So of course they would demand a price.
They would kill monsters and receive relics in exchange.
“But would the punks in the capital easily hand over their goods?”
The Capital Defense Command would certainly be aware of what was going on. Therefore, they would not easily acquiesce.
Regardless, an exchange of words will come to pass eventually.
“We’re not just going to ask them, we’re going to make them give it to us.”
“Is that possible?”
“If the other party has something you want but refuses to give it to you, what would you do?”
Kim Tae Hoon suddenly asked Chang Sung Hoon a question.
“I would ask if they have any intention of selling it to me.”
“And if they say no?”
“If I really needed it I would threaten them or snatch…….”
Chang Sung Hoon stared at Kim Tae Hoon with a surprised expression on his face. He had finally understood Kim Tae Hoon’s intentions.
Kim Tae Hoon wasn’t looking to be rewarded. It was a one-sided robbery.
If they won’t give it, then I’ll take it.
“Organize a list of national treasures that they may have secured.”
Hearing Kim Tae Hoon’s command, Chang Sung Hoon’s eyes changed.
The anxiety in his eyes ceased to exist and was replaced with a small gleam of anticipation.
“Finally, the day that I get to lay my hands on a national treasure will soon arrive. Yes, we should do things with a bang. If we’re going to steal something, might as well snatch away a few national treasures. By all means! Please leave it to me!”
Seeing Chang Sung Hoon’s enthusiastic reply, Kim Tae Hoon did not smile.
‘Artifacts can be obtained.’
It was possible to get their hands on the relics. It was possible to snatch them away.
However, it was the same for this unknown enemy known as the Six Snakes. They would currently be eating right off the Capital Defense Command’s table without them even knowing.
There would be no competition between the one who eats the flesh of the fruit and the one who eats the peels.
‘I need to insert my own people.’
Above all, the military is not a simple organization that is moved by profit.
The military wouldn’t exist if it was solely motivated by profit. There was no organization that consumed more and produced less than the military.
The soldiers were the same.
To be frank, no soldier joined the army for monetary or material gain.
What these soldiers wanted to do was to leave their names in the annals of history.
The history of mankind was a history of war. War was a great opportunity for soldiers to leave behind their names.
‘Lieutenant Colonel Yoo Daehyun is also ambitious.’
Lieutenant Colonel Yoo Daehyun was one of those ambitious soldiers.
In the first place, the 35th Battalion Special Assault Team was bound to be on close terms with the authorities.
If Kim Tae Hoon was a man of power, the first person he would have sought out during the moment of crisis was Lieutenant Colonel Yoo Daehyun.
However, that same person’s expression right now was not good.
‘However, his situation right now is terrible.’
For one, he himself was not an Awakened, A huge penalty. The situation in the military was one where there was no choice but to let the Awakened fill positions of power. The individual power of an Awakened could potentially become higher than that of an army, and a normal human commander would become impotent when exposed to Fear.
The proof was that he was currently running around outside.
Those with power were never at the frontlines.
At the moment of the commander’s death, chaos will ensue, resulting in tremendous damage and ensuring their defeat.
‘He’s being discarded.’
In other words, the Capital Defense Command would suffer no loss if Lieutenant Colonel Yoo Daehyun were to die.
Plus there was nothing he could do about it.
You could tell based on how Oh Saebum treated Lieutenant Colonel Yoo Daehyun.
If Lieutenant Colonel Yoo Daehyun had proper authority, the arrogant Oh Saebum would have never smoked so arrogantly right in front of his face.
‘Although his situation isn’t very good and he’s been forced to run around, I suppose he probably doesn’t have any intention of bending his knees.’
Nonetheless, the reason he was taking such a big risk and actively running around was because his ambitions had not lessened.
It was the hallmark of ambition. It wasn’t something you could just turn off because you wanted to.
Kim Tae Hoon closed his eyes. Sounds that his ears couldn’t detect before began to become clearer.
He heard two voices talking to Kim Soo Ji in the reception room by the mayor’s office.
Kim Tae Hoon opened his eyes.
“Are there any yellow ranked monsters nearby?”
“Yes, there’s one in Incheon.”
“I’ll hunt it.”
“What do you want the soldiers to do?”
“I’ll be on my own. I’ll also be taking those two.”
Kim Tae Hoon decided.
‘I’ll use Lieutenant Colonel Yoo Daehyun to eat from inside the Capital Defense Command.’