Chapter 62 – Incheon Landing Operation (4)
“What kind of nonsense is that?”
A man in his mid 30s crushed a can of beer in his hand before chucking it at the other man in front of him.
The half crushed can of beer struck the man’s head.
The man screamed as the can hit him.
The can of beer fell onto the floor along with the man who screamed out in pain, the beer spilling out and drenching the fallen man’s body.
“Destroyed?! Wiped out, what the hell were you doing?”
The scent of beer floated up near the man in his mid 30s as though it were a haze…… he was the leader of the group known as the Looters.
“Fuck, are you playing around? You sons of bitches!”
As though unsatisfied with just one beer can, he began to indiscriminately throw unopened cans of beer and bottles of wine towards those around him.
He was angry beyond reason.
“They were fucking tanks! Fucking tanks!”
But nobody there believed that his rage was uncalled for.
“I sent a motherfucking tank and it’s gone! Does that make any fucking sense to you? It’s a fucking tank you sons of bitches, how the fuck does that make sense?!”
Even the side that was using it thought it was an incredibly terrifying piece of equipment. Of course nobody expected defeat. Just imagining the sheer amount of destruction that the tank could dish out was enough to send shivers down one’s spine.
But everyone who went with the tanks were annihilated.
Plus, it was impossible to completely verify that they had been annihilated.
There were no survivors and everyone sent to survey the situation hadn’t come back.
All of these factors combined only served to add fuel to the raging fire that was Yang Seok Choon’s anger.
There was also an additional reason why Yang Seok Choon felt such an uncontrollable rage.
‘Damn it, my life’s on the line here!’
The operation this time wasn’t just about raiding the survivors.
It all began when an unknown party first approached Yang Seok Choon.
They had told Yang Seok Choon. They told him that some government forces would soon enter Incheon City.
‘If we just let it end like this, the government will wipe us out!’
It wasn’t something that Yang Seok Choon could just look over.
Under the banner of the Looters, Yang Seok Choon and his men had committed a countless number of terrible crimes.
Along with the typical robbery, murder, rape, and arson, he and his men also took part in recreational kidnappings, child abductions, hostage ransoms, and stealing food away from other survivors.
The amount of people in Ganseogogeori who had fallen victim to the Looters’ crimes were overflowing.
If the government were present, Yang Seok Choon and his men would have been sentenced to death many times over.
‘Damn it, damn it, damn it!’
However, the government wasn’t in the best of condition, so as soon as any government forces entered Incheon and happened across the Looters, they would forego the niceties of court hearings and just simply execute them on the spot with a firing squad.
‘I have to escape. I have to leave Incheon as soon as possible!’
They couldn’t even stand up against the government troops.
So hearing what had happened, one of the first things to run through Yang Seok Choon’s mind was to run away.
‘I need that.’
The issue was that there wasn’t really anywhere to run to in the current world.
The world belonged to the monsters. The only way to escape a dragon’s lair was to enter a tiger’s den.
So it was necessary.
‘I need the cross that that damn priest is carrying around.’
The Saint’s Cross that Baek Jungjoon used to protect the survivors.
If the surrounding monsters are all repelled, then he wouldn’t need to worry about the monster threat.
The unknown man who had informed Yang Seok Choon of these things also helped him plan the attack on the survivors.
He said that he too was a fugitive and was in need of the Saint’s Cross. He had assured Yang Seok Choon that he would help him retrieve the cross.
The help he received was in the form of tanks. The man was knowledgeable in both driving and shooting tanks.
It wasn’t long before the Looters knew how to operate the tanks at a decent level and were sent out to attack the survivors.
The story should have just ended there. It was supposed to…….
“Even if it’s some sort of bullshit reason, just find out what happened! Figure out what caused the annihilation!”
It didn’t end there.
A report that would make him go even crazier came.
At that time, a man quickly ran into the factory that was serving as their base. With an expression like he saw a ghost, the man approached the still angry Yang Seok Choon.
Yang Seok Choon picked up a bottle near him as he asked. If the guy in front of him spouted out some nonsense, he was going to smash his head in with the bottle.
However, he never got the chance to do so.
“A k-knight, a dirt Knight is going crazy!”
“What? A knight?”
It was because something even crazier was about to go down.
A horse stood atop a a wreckage of metal that used to be a car.
It was a bizarre sight. For one, the horse itself wasn’t actually alive.
It was an earthen horse.
On top of that, it wasn’t just a normal horse either. Unlike a normal horse, there was a pointed spear-like object strapped to the chest of horse sticking outward.
Atop the horse was a knight whose lower body was clad in armor.
A warrior who rode into battle on a horse, a warrior who had fought through many battles and had forged his own path with blood.
The knight and the sword gripped in his hand were also both made of earth.
However, neither the horse nor the knight nor the sword in his hand, though made of clay and dirt, felt clumsy or crude.
It was actually the opposite.
“What are you doing, fight it! I said to fight it!”
The horse’s movements as it leapt towards a Looter was far sleeker and more intense than that of a normal horse.
The distance between the horse and the Looter narrowed, a flash of light was all that could be seen of the knight’s sword as the earthen blade sliced cleanly through the Looter’s body.
As was said earlier, there was nothing crude or unwieldy aspects anywhere.
“O-oh my God!”
“Where the hell did this monster… … ”
There were many aspects about it that couldn’t be explained with common sense.
Someone pulled the trigger on a gun pointed at the being.
But there was no effect.
The bullets made their way into the horse and the warrior’s body, but that was it.
A horse and a knight made of earthen clay sheds neither blood nor tears.
The gunshots merely served as the horse’s motivator.
The horse jumped from car to car like stepping stones, maneuvering around the streets before arriving at the fool that had fired towards it, allowing the knight to cut him down.
The earthen horse didn’t stop there. The horse ran even faster to the next enemy.
The Looters lost all will to resist in the face of such a logic defying creature.
Then something defying all common sense happened once more.
The knight on horseback that hadn’t staggered once in the face of a wall of bullets suddenly began to shrink.
It kept on shrinking until it turned into nothing more than a little figurine.
“Wh-where did it go?”
The few remaining Looters stared at the knight’s last known location with incredulous expressions.
Suddenly, a featherless arrow seeked them out.
This silent assassin, a name that couldn’t be more fitting for this arrow, noiselessly struck down the remaining Looters.
Observing everything from the skies above, Kim Tae Hoon looked at his right hand with blackened eyes.
– Strength : 265
– Stamina : 237
– Energy : C Rank
– Mana : C Rank
– Telekinesis : A Rank
– Physical Defense : C Rank
– Magic Resistance : C- Rank
‘The only weakness is that I can only operate it for 5 minutes with C Rank Mana.’
Earthenware Warrior on Horseback.
The power of this relic that didn’t stop as long as it was being fed mana was at an exceedingly impressive level.
‘But it’s fighting power…….’
For now, the Horse showed an impressive amount of mobility. Not only was its top speed enough to compete with top line sports cars, but it could also exercise unpredictable movements that would be impossible for a race car.
The warrior’s ability to fight on horseback was overwhelming. Its sword was ruthless, accurate, and swift. The moment it would chase an enemy, it would close the gap almost immediately.
And finally, the sharpness and power behind the knight’s horse may not match up to the Sword of the Commander on Kim Tae Hoon’s back, but it was comparable.
‘If it were a one on one melee, I don’t know if I’ll be able to guarantee my life.’
The knight’s stats were extremely fearsome, so much so that just thinking about a one on one melee sent a cold tingle down his spine.
Kim Tae Hoon was satisfied.
‘It’s the best partner.’
The horseman’s combat power was strong, but what was more satisfactory was their synergy.
The Earthenware Warrior on Horseback was a partner that could hold its own against a green ranked monster and buy him some time.
So while the Earthenware Warrior on Horseback grabs the monster’s attention and buys time, the options left to the flying Kim Tae Hoon might as well be limitless.
There would be no other perfect synergy.
‘There’s no reason to be hesitant before fighting a green ranked monster.’
– Boss! Escape togeth……
– He collapsed after ranting and raving.
A fuss entered Kim Tae Hoon’s ears.
Kim Tae Hoon lifted his eyes off the back of his hand.
He had confirmed the Earthenware Warrior on Horseback’s power. So he figured he ought to carry on with the original mission.
Kim Tae Hoon dropped to the floor.
A man walked through the shattered remains of what used to be a glass wall and into a coffee shop.
With a sword strapped to his back, it was Kim Tae Hoon.
The first thing that he laid eyes on was the shelf by the cash register.
What used to be a glass display case filled with cakes now only held shattered glass, debris, and traces of blood. On the floor beneath the cash register were the remains of a tiramisu cake that someone had hurriedly taken a few bites of.
There were traces of blood and chaos everywhere.
Everything had been stripped bare. The chairs and tables were ripped apart for firewood, the cash register was busted open, and the expensive machinery like the espresso machines were all missing.
Only the coffee beans lining the shelves were left intact.
It was for no other reason than the fact that coffee couldn’t fill one’s stomach and it couldn’t be easily prepared either. Nobody had any motive to be a coffee thief.
It was something that Kim Tae Hoon was thankful for.
Perusing through the variety of beans on the shelf, Kim Tae Hoon settled on Colombian.
After finding a stainless steel kettle and some solid fuel, Kim Tae Hoon filled the kettle with water. After unwrapping the solid fuel, Kim Tae Hoon gently spit onto the fuel.
As soon as his spit touched the fuel, it began to burn. Kim Tae Hoon placed the kettle on top of a tripod set above the solid fuel.
The next step was to crush the beans.
After peeling away the sealing, Kim Tae Hoon took in the scent of the beans before taking them out.
With a blackened right hand, Kim Tae Hoon smashed the beans. The tough beans quickly turned into powder under Kim Tae Hoon’s hand.
As Kim Tae Hoon poured boiling water onto the coffee paper, it only took a few minutes for the aroma of coffee to spread throughout the coffee shop that had been devoid of the scent for three months.
Having made the coffee, Kim Tae Hoon couldn’t help but think back to what had happened.
The first thing he recalled was the conversation he had with Yang Seok Choon, the leader of the Looters.
The guy had said a lot of things.
How egregious his crimes were, how badly he deserved to die…….
‘He’s in his mid 30s. His hair was in a sports style. He had an angled face with a husky voice. He also had a big mole under his left eye.’
Who it was behind him.
The information that Kim Tae Hoon got from Yang Seok Choon lended some confidence to Kim Tae Hoon’s hypothesis.
‘The Woodblock Print of Daedongyeojido from the National Museum of Korea is in the hands of the Six Snakes.’
Prints of Daedongyeojido.
It was by far one of the most precious relics anyone could have right now.
And there were multiple copies of it in Seoul. In the case of the one in the National Museum of Seoul, it was in the form of woodblock prints.
So there was no reason for the Capital Defense Command to not have one.
But from what Kim Tae Hoon had seen, there was a high chance that the Capital Defense Command didn’t actually have one.
There was a unit of soldiers that had died in a battle against the green ranked Rattle-tailed Mouse in Gwangmyeong City! His conjecture was also based on the fact that Lieutenant Colonel Yoo Dae Hyun hadn’t sent his troops directly to Incheon.
If they had Daedongyeojido, then this entire sequence of action would have been unnecessary.
‘The Six Snakes stole Daedongyeojido.’
So now, there copy of Daedongyeojido was in the hands of the Six Snakes.
‘If it weren’t for that, there would have been no need to rely on a third party.’
That was an evidence for the movement of the Six Snakes.
‘Their purpose was to steal the relics.’
The Six Snakes’ objective was to bleed the Capital Defense Command dry of their remaining resources.
Compared to when they had Daedongyeojido, the current Capital Defense Command couldn’t engage in outside operation since they no longer had it.
However, that didn’t mean that they were completely out of the game.
They ultimately could not limit themselves to Seoul, so a few, small elite cells would take part in high-profile missions in exchange for relics.
But what about when a mission failed?
And what if you died during a mission?
Then those relics that were paid to the team would become ownerless objects.
‘Stolen as soon as it was earned.’
Turning relics into loot.
‘There’s no need to worry about whether or not we can get the relics as long as their is Oh Saebum.’
No matter how you look at it, the Six Snakes were an Awakened group based in the Capital Defense Command who were behind Oh Saebum.
They can see where the monsters are, and they have the strongest resources available to the Capital Defense Command, so they oftentimes didn’t need to take big risks.
But of course, they had to take a big risk right now.
The risk known as Kim Tae Hoon.
And that risk was now aware of the Six Snakes.
‘The Six Snakes contacted Yang Seok Choon the day after I knocked out Oh Saebum.’
The Six Snakes had approached Yang Seok Choon and taught him how to operate tanks in order to impeded Kim Tae Hoon and prevent him from catching onto their plans.
The Looters would wipe out the survivors, take the Saint’s Cross from Baek Jungjoon, and then immediately leave Incheon City so as to leave nothing behind for Kim Tae Hoon to follow up on.
It was a plan that had yet to be completed.
‘So this is it, you’ve bared your teeth towards me.’
They had failed to destroy the evidence that they had sought out to get rid of by mobilizing the Looters, so if Kim Tae Hoon left things as they were, they would try to do something again.
Of course, Kim Tae Hoon wasn’t just going to sit still and let them do as they wish.
‘I’ll make Incheon my land so that they won’t have a single foothold to work from.’
Mek Guild’s Incheon Landing Operation began.
After the monsters made their way into the world, the days of suffering that Baek Jungjoon had weathered through were different from those of most others.
His cross kept the monsters away from him.
However, it wasn’t just an unconditional blessing. The cross had subjected Baek Jungjoon to a test.
In lieu of monsters, humans actively sought him out in order to take his cross away from him, despite the charity and mercy he had displayed.
It was because of this that Baek Jungjoon and the survivors that had appointed him leader were forced to point their muzzles at the group of survivors known as the Looters.
Baek Jungjoon prayed every day while under persecution.
‘Please send us deliverance, may you bless us and repel those who seek to harm us, may you send us a savior that may deliver us.’
And at this moment, a group of hundreds of armed people armored with an unknown monster’s skin was approaching Ganseogogeori where Baek Jungjoon and his people were.
Dugu dugu dugu!
Seeing such a large crowd, Baek Jungjoon’s heart began to pound.
But it was not out of fear.
On the contrary, a never before experienced warmth began to spread throughout his body. As the group approached, Baek Jungjoon, the priest standing atop the bridge, couldn’t stop his beating heart from beating even faster.
Of course, they weren’t looking for Father Baek Jungjoon. The reason why they had come was because of the man next to them, a man with a sword strapped to his back, Kim Tae Hoon.
They stopped before the high-rise bridge.
Standing in front of the bridge, the woman at the forefront of the group saluted as she gazed at the bridge.
“Report. All 700 Mek Guild personnel have arrived— 134 hunters, 466 soldiers, and 100 others.”
Hearing Second Lieutenant Kim Soo Ji’s report, Kim Tae Hoon neither saluted nor indulged in needless banter.
While looking down he spoke.
“There’s only one thing left to do here, and that’s to wipe out the remaining monsters and their kin.”
As soon as he heard that, Baek Jungjoon knew for sure.
“Don’t hold back and don’t limit yourselves when getting rid of the monsters.”
That the heavens have not abandoned man.
“Afterwards, we begin Incheon landing operations.”