Chapter 59 – Incheon Landing Operation
Amidst the forest of buildings, a woman was carving away at a mangled monster’s chest with her knife.
The woman shoved her hand through the monster’s chest without batting an eye, retrieving a red jewel from within. She wiped her hands and the red jewel with a handkerchief and then walked towards a man who was calmly sipping coffee from a thermos.
“Are you perhaps doing that intentionally?”
Kim Yuri asked while also handing Kim Tae Hoon the monster stone.
Ingesting the monster stone as soon as he received it, Kim Tae Hoon raised his eyebrow. He was gesturing for her to explain more clearly.
“Whenever a survivor is about to die at the hands of a monster, you would rescue them when it’s most dire…… are you doing that intentionally?”
Hearing that, Kim Tae Hoon nodded his head.
“It’ll make me look like a savior.”
“Instead of a random passerby, they would be more cooperative with their savior.”
Kim Tae Hoon tightened the lid on his thermos and walked towards Bae Sung Joon who was currently eating the chocolate bar that Kim Tae Hoon had given him. He was ready to get some answers. As Kim Tae Hoon approached, Bae Sung Joon stood up from his seat.
“Th,thank you. Lee Eunhye……”
“Have you seen this woman?”
Kim Tae Hoon cut off Bae Sung Joon and pulled out a sketch of a woman. It was a well-drawn portrait of a white woman with a cold expression in her mid-twenties.
“Her name is Kate Kennedy.”
Bae Sung Joon stared at the sketch before shaking his head. Hearing that, Kim Tae Hoon didn’t express any sort of disappointment. If it was so easy to find her, Kim Tae Hoon wouldn’t have personally come to Incheon.
‘Will I eventually have to go to Yeongjongdo?’
According to the information that Lieutenant Colonel Yoo Daehyun had given him, Kate Kennedy’s last known location was on Yeongjong Island where Incheon International Airport was located. It was possible that she could still be there. He was asking on the off chance that Kate had left Yeongjong Island with her guards.
So Kim Tae Hoon went straight to the next question.
“Is there a force created by the survivors in Incheon?”
“Yes, yes there is.”
This time he replied back.
“How many survivors?”
“I think it’s just over a thousand…… I don’t know the exact number.”
Over a thousand people.
Listening in on the conversation from behind Kim Tae Hoon, Kim Yuri made a terrible expression.
‘Incheon’s population is close to 3 million……’
Incheon’s population was 2.92 million people. Incheon was pretty big, so it’s population density was lower than that of Bucheon’s. But even taking that into consideration, the fact that the remaining group of survivors was floating around a thousand people was dismal.
Kim Tae Hoon thought the same.
‘The damage is astounding.’
Thinking of the thousand survivors, the words of Messiah’s Leader, Lee Jin Sung, came to mind.
Bucheon’s luck is really good…… Incheon’s already become hell…… heed my words.
Everything he said was true. The damage inflicted upon Incheon was so great that Bucheon could not even begin to compare. The enormity of the tragedy wasn’t lost on Kim Tae Hoon.
“Ganseogogeori, the survivors are gathered in Ganseogogeori Station.”
“What is the name of the survivor group?”
This was the first time Bae Sungjun hesitated to answer. Kim Tae Hoon’s eyes narrowed.
He did not volunteer to be a hero like someone from Marvel Comics. He had put his life on the line to come here. It wasn’t just Kim Tae Hoon’s life either. The lives of those who live under the umbrella known as Kim Tae Hoon are at stake as well.
A complete stranger, if it weren’t for the fact that he had saved his life, Bae Sungjun would have never even bothered telling this stranger anything at all.
“What is the name of the survivor group?”
“Right, so that’s because that……”
Kim Tae Hoon’s gaze changed.
His eyes read ‘if you don’t answer right away, if you further hesitate to answer, then I’m willing to go to any lengths necessary to get an answer’.
“You have three seconds.”
Bae Sungjun stuttered, scared of Kim Tae Hoon.
“Th, that’s not it, they don’t have a name. The survivors are just survivors! They don’t have a name. I’m telling the truth, they don’t have one. In..instead, there is another group of kids calling themselves the Looters. They’re kids who commit crimes……”
Hearing that, a murderous aura came off of Kim Tae Hoon. Because of the information he heard, Kim Tae Hoon was able to more properly draw out the situation in Incheon in his head.
‘It seems like the survivors in Incheon have almost no contact with the outside world.’
If they had contact with outsiders, then they would have named themselves something to distinguish their group from outsiders. The lack of a name meant that they felt there was no need to differentiate themselves.
‘Is it because of Bucheon?’
Looking at the current situation in Incheon, then it was understandable enough. Bucheon was the only city where survivors could work about in areas near Incheon. However, nobody in Bucheon would have wanted to go to Incheon. It was the same vice versa. Bucheon blocked access to Incheon, turning it into a sort of isolated state.
‘But while gathering survivors, what happened that two groups would form…… looks like there might be a proper leader in Incheon.’
Another possibility is that there might be a leader in Incheon. No one would ever follow a bad leader in a life-threatening situation.
But that didn’t mean that everyone would be of one mind. There were people in Incheon who looted and attacked other humans like monsters would.
‘The survivors known as the Looters, simple.’
Regardless, the situation was clear.
“What’s the situation with weapons for both the survivors and the Looters?”
Kim Tae Hoon continued his questioning in order to get more information. However, a different creature replied instead of Bae Sungjun.
A loud shriek rang out in the distance from where they had come from. It was the cries of other Large Nosed Orangutans that had arrived at the bloody corpses of their fellow orangutans. Amongst them were some larger, orange-eyed ones as well.
Seeing the Orange-eyed monster, Bae Sungjun fell to the floor. Bae Sungjun was no longer in any condition to answer Kim Tae Hoon’s question. Seeing as how his questioning was interrupted, Kim Tae Hoon frowned. Kim Tae Hoon’s pupils went black.
The arrow in Kim Tae Hoon’s waist moved out in an instant. The arrow sliced through the air, aiming right for the noses of the monsters that had so egregiously ruined the master’s mood. It only took a moment for six Large Nosed Orangutans to cease their breathing.
Identifying the arrow, the leader of the Large Nosed Orangutans swiftly dodged to the side to avoid the arrow piercing towards his head, but was still unable to dodge again as the arrow pierced through its throat.
Keuh, Keuhuh, keuhuk!
As the orangutan gasped for breath, the arrow appeared before it, pointing towards its head like a snake.
The arrow pierced through the orangutan. The world was once more wrapped in silence.
Staring at the collapsed Bae Sungjun, Kim Tae Hoon asked a question with a calmer tone of voice.
“What weapons do the survivors and the Looters have?”
As stated in its name, ‘Ogeori’, Ganseogogeori was an area where 5 roads met. At the center of the five roads was the Ganseok High Rise Bridge.
It was a literal high rise bridge.
A road hoisted above a road, a road so high up that it could be called a cloud bridge. Observers would merely be able to look at drivers whizzing by.
That overpass was now serving as a watchtower. There were men wearing uniforms up on the overpass, surveying the land with the scopes on their rifles. It was a scene that you wouldn’t have seen in the past. The current scene was completely different from what Ganseogogeori was before. Atop the five roads, vehicles were arranged in such a way as to barricade off monsters. Some places bore the marks of battle, as there were gaps and damages in the line of vehicles. The biggest change was two of the five streets being completely blocked by collapsed buildings.
On top of an empty building, Kim Yuri, who was observing the now Ganseoksamgeori through a pair of binoculars, clicked her tongue.
[TN: Ganseoksamgeori means Ganseok three-way intersection, whereas Ganseogogeori means Ganseok five-way intersection.]
“Their defenses are tighter than I thought.”
As a matter of fact, the survivors successfully settling down in Ganseogogeori was very remarkable. It was amazing for anyone to have survived in the hell known as Incheon for three months.
“Seems dangerous just making contact with them sir.”
Approaching these survivors was no different than approaching a wounded beast. Kim Yuri’s judgement was reasonable. However, Kim Tae Hoon’s behavior spoke otherwise.
“I’ll go meet with their leader by myself.”
Kim Yuri looked at Kim Tae Hoon with an incredulous expression on her face. She couldn’t help but think back to what she had just said.
It’s dangerous to even contact them!
But Kim Tae Hoon paid no heed to her warning.
“There are children.”
What caught Kim Tae Hoon’s attention was the existence of kids running about in Ganseogogeori.
Kim Yuri didn’t quite understand Kim Tae Hoon’s intention.
‘What does that have to do with it?’
Kim Yuri didn’t understand why he had placed so much worth on the fact that there were kids.
“There are two main reasons why an armed group independent of the government would allow for children.”
Kim Tae Hoon was willing to explain to her his thought process.
“One would be where a group of terrorists plans to brainwash children and scare them into carrying out nefarious acts such as shootings and suicide bombings.”
“…… and the other reason?”
“The second would be where some kind-hearted fool risks his life to protect the children and provide for them a safe living space.”
Kim Yuri’s expression stiffened after listening in on his explanation.
If Kim Tae Hoon’s explanation was correct, then this armed group could be either that of the devil or that of an angel.
“How can we distinguish between the two cases?”
It was certain that Kim Tae Hoon had the necessary knowledge to differentiate between the two.
“Terrorists would usually keep children around the age of 10. With kids over the age of 13, there’s the risk that they might become too independent and use clever means to rebel, while kids under the age of 7 might not be able to listen to commands.”
Kim Yuri didn’t say anything after listening to Kim Tae Hoon’s explanation. Kim Yuri had to keep her mouth shut in order not to exclaim the creeping feeling in her mind.
‘Just what kind of life……’
Her imagination was enough. Even when not speaking, Kim Tae Hoon exuded the scary experiences he had gone through in his life. Kim Tae Hoon did not pay her any more attention. He turned his head and looked at Ganseogogeori. Kim Yuri also turned her head, but nothing stood out.
“What’s going on sir?”
However, Kim Tae Hoon could clearly hear it.
“It’s the Looters.”
It was the sound of weapons and other arms approaching Sanseokogeori at a fast pace.
“They have a tank”
“It’s a K1A1. There are two of them. .”
And the distinctive sounds of a tank. Hearing what he said, Kim Yuri’s face stiffened.
‘Two tanks…… damn it.’
The existence of two tanks meant that those with mere firearms might as well be without weapons.
It would be a nightmare for the survivors of Ganseogogeori. However, it was what Kim Tae Hoon was planning to do that made Kim Yuri worry more. Kim Tae Hoon had said earlier, he deliberately waits and only shows up when the victim is at their direst moments to save them. If that was the case, then it was likely that Kim Tae Hoon would sit on the sidelines while the tanks made a mess of Ganseogogeori. The Kim Tae Hoon that she knew was someone who would stick to their gun, standing on the sidelines while others were in danger.
“Sergeant First Class Kim Yuri.”
“Let the survivors know that the Looters are coming.”
But this time, things were different.
“Then what is Major……”
Kim Tae Hoon did not answer Kim Yuri’s question. In lieu of replying back, Kim Tae Hoon threw himself off the top of the roof.