The moment the Dark Tiger’s large body moved…
One of the people watching from inside the shelter started to mumble.
“… A thunderbolt.”
Its movement was indeed like a thunderbolt.
And at the end of its movement…
“Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii, eeeeek! Kiiiiiiiiiiiiiik!”
The Dark Tiger’s large fangs dug into the red monkey’s neck.
Everybody dropped their jaws in shock after hearing the whimpering of the monster that had been such a source of fear for them.
The fear inside their hearts started to subside.
The red monkey knelt down on both of its knees as it died.
The people inside could see the Dark Tiger lightly wipe its mane as well as the person still on top of the tiger.
Jae Ha-Jung subconsciously opened his mouth.
“…Did you really-”
‘Did you really come here to help us?’
He needed certainty about this desperate situation.
But Jae Ha-Jung could not finish asking the question.
It was because the Dark Tiger and the person on top of it turned their backs to him.
“Let’s finish the rest.”
Alberu continued to sigh after hearing Cale’s comment.
Cale just ignored his sighs.
“Your highness, I thought you said you know everything about the leader monster except one thing.”
Alberu was able to learn ‘everything’ about this leader monster once he was connected to the monster’s body.
Well, everything except one thing.
Cale recalled how Alberu had mentioned that one thing.
‘I’m able to go through all of the Dark Tiger’s memories, however… I can’t figure out where this bastard came from.’
Where had the Dark Tiger come from?
Where had all these monsters come from?
‘The true owner of this body definitely knows where it came from, but that memory seems to have been erased once I was brought inside.’
Cale caressed the tiger’s mane as he continued to speak.
“Please, let’s hurry since we need to quickly figure that one thing out as well.”
Alberu sighed and took a step away from the people.
They could hear the monsters growling from all around them.
“…For the crown prince…to do such… Such…things that bring down my dignity……”
Cale urged the hesitating Alberu on.
“Hyung-nim, please hurry up and roar.”
“You son of a bitch.”
Alberu had no choice but to do as he asked.
The Dark Tiger opened its mouth and bared its heinous fangs.
Alberu then roared.
The Dark Tiger’s thunder-like roar made the air around the central shelter start to shake.
Cale recalled what Alberu said earlier as he felt the shaking.
‘Cale. This leader of the taster monsters seems to be able to affect the Grade 2 monsters to a degree as you suspected.’
Cale had focused on something in addition to the fact that the leader of the taster monsters was capable of communicating in the past.
Could the leader monsters command the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters?
He had come up with such a hypothesis.
He was able to hear a portion of the response regarding that issue from Alberu.
‘I looked through this body’s memories and noticed that the Grade 3 monsters feel intense fear and pressure from this body while the Grade 2 monsters feel significant fear and pressure.’
Intense fear and pressure.
Significant fear and pressure.
The two of those were quite different, but there was something he could gather from this information.
Even if it could not ‘command’ these monsters…
The Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters all felt fear from the leaders of the taster monsters.
The Grade 2 monsters showed a bigger reaction than when the Dark Tiger had first appeared and urgently retreated back.
The Grade 2 monsters started to surround the building, similar to the Grade 2 monsters at Cale’s central shelter.
Cale watched this for a moment before turning away.
‘Ah, Cale. You mentioned the taster monsters, right? The other Grade 1 taster monsters only feel a small amount of fear and pressure.’
As Alberu had mentioned earlier, unlike the Grade 2 monsters that had retreated, the remaining Grade 1 monsters were warily glaring at the Dark Tiger and Cale.
The monsters showed a small amount of fear, but they quickly realized that they outnumbered them and started to look for an opening to attack.
“Looks like we can’t show them any openings.”
Cale then opened up both hands.
The water spear was in his right hand while a rose gold thunderbolt was in his left hand looking like a spear.
“Cale, are you really going to fight? Will you be okay?”
“No. I cannot end up fainting. I’m just showing them that I have these powers in order to act tough and make them be more cautious about attacking us.”
“Ah, is that so?”
“As expected of you.”
Alberu and Cale were nonchalantly chatting.
But the Grade 1 taster monsters that could not hear their conversation tensed up because of their wariness of the Dark Tiger and this human’s power and they did not dare to attack.
The people inside the central shelter could not believe what they were seeing.
This man was firmly standing on top of this large tiger while controlling it as if it was part of his body.
Then there were the powers of water and fiery thunderbolt in that man’s hands.
“…Who the hell is this person? …Is he even human?”
Others agreed with what Jae Ha-Jung was mumbling as well.
They had heard about ability users with multiple abilities because of Lee Soo Hyuk, one of the most famous ability users during this time, but they had never seen it for themselves.
Jae Ha-Jung started to think about the abilities of this man in front of him.
He also controlled a monster. The only occupation he could come up with was-
He couldn’t come up with a term for someone with all these abilities.
Jae Ha-Jung was standing quite far away, but he could see the smile on the man’s face.
‘He can look so relaxed even while having all these monsters in front of him.’
Forget just being surprised, it was sending currents throughout his body.
He recalled the woman’s voice he heard a moment ago.
‘We will now send the first round of reinforcements. Please hold on a little longer. The first round of reinforcements will take care of all taster monsters.’
Jae Ha-Jung subconsciously blurted out.
“…We might be able to survive.”
He then heard the leader of this central shelter, Bae Cheol-Ho, start to shout.
“Oh, my goodness!”
Jae Ha-Jung urgently turned toward the voice.
Bae Cheol-Ho was holding his head with both hands.
His pupils were frantically shaking.
He was looking toward the sky from which the Dark Tiger had descended. It was focused on that spot.
He was looking at the other people who were also descending from the sky.
Bae Cheol-Ho started to tear up after noticing one of those people.
He then heard a voice he had missed for so long.
Bae Cheol-Ho started to speak.
Bae Puh Rum descended quickly.
The others with him had no choice but to quickly descend as well.
Bae Puh Rum ran past the red monkey’s corpse and entered the building. Bae Cheol-Ho had already run down as well.
Bae Puh Rum and Bae Cheol-Ho embraced each other.
It was almost a miracle to meet a family member in this new world.
Bae Puh Rum couldn’t hide his shock at the fact that Bae Cheol-Ho had been so close. This was his Eldest Uncle whom he had seen many times even aside from the major holidays.
It was at that moment.
Bae Cheol-Ho noticed the people who had descended with Bae Puh Rum.
Puh Rum snapped back to his senses after hearing the voice and moved away from Bae Cheol-Ho.
The person who had greeted Bae Cheol-Ho started to speak.
“My name is Kim Min Ah.”
Bae Puh Rum quickly moved to Min Ah’s side and started to speak.
“Ah, she’s m, my, g, girl-”
“Tell him later.”
Puh Rum quickly shut up after hearing Kim Min Ah’s stern voice. But everybody could tell their relationship based on their flushed cheeks.
Kim Min Ah then bowed toward Bae Cheol-Ho and quickly turned around.
“I will be back in a moment, sir.”
Kim Min Ah immediately headed out of the building. Bae Cheol-Ho subconsciously reached out.
“It’s dangerous out-”
But Bae Cheol-Ho’s hand could not reach Kim Min Ah.
She had already moved far away.
“Uncle, it’s okay.”
As he heard his nephew Puh Rum’s voice…
A large spear stabbed down on the ground. Kim Min Ah easily grabbed the spear and started to walk toward the Dark Tiger’s side.
“Uncle, our Min Ah is super strong. Me too.”
‘You’re strong too?’
Bae Cheol-Ho’s eyes opened wide.
The man on top of the Dark Tiger started to speak.
“Park Jin Tae!”
The other person who had come to this central shelter…
Was none other than Park Jin Tae, whom Bae Cheol-Ho knew to be the leader of the other shelter.
That Park Jin Tae who was said to have a terrible personality started to frown as he responded.
“O, okay! I’ll be there!”
Bae Cheol-Ho looked confused as he watched Park Jin Tae respond in a grumbling tone but hurrying over after putting Jang Man Soo, who was on his back, down on the ground.
He then quietly swore after making eye contact with Bae Cheol-Ho.
“Park Jin Tae!”
However, he heard Cale calling for him again and started to speak to Bae Cheol-Ho.
“…Grandma Kim here will tell you everything you need to know.”
“Nice to meet you.”
Bae Cheol-Ho quickly bowed toward the grandma with a benign smile before looking back at Park Jin Tae.
“…Park Jin Tae.”
“What is it?”
Bae Cheol-Ho looked toward Park Jin Tae who responded in a brusque tone as he pointed outside with one hand.
“Who is that person?”
His finger was pointing toward Cale.
The expression on Park Jin Tae’s face disappeared for the first time.
He finally started to speak after a while.
“…Who knows? Even I can’t really tell anymore.”
He could not fathom Kim Rok Soo’s abilities anymore.
However, there was something he did know.
No matter what abilities he had…
“He’s the current leader.”
“Huh? It’s not you?”
Bae Cheol-Ho’s eyes opened wide. He was shocked to hear such a response from the greedy Park Jin Tae.
Park Jin Tae had a bitter smile on his face.
“You’ll understand once you see what happens. We can survive if we do as he says. All of us.”
* * *
Bae Cheol-Ho watched the last of the Grade 1 taster monsters that had attacked this central shelter fall to the ground.
An emotion greater than admiration flowed out of his mouth.
He had not expected all of the Grade 1 taster monsters to truly fall.
He saw a hand in front of him at that moment.
“Hello. My name is Kim Rok Soo.”
This was the man who had stood on top of the Dark Tiger’s back and gave orders to Kim Min Ah, Park Jin Tae, and Bae Puh Rum to get rid of the monsters one by one.
Bae Cheol-Ho firmly grabbed that hand.
“My name is Bae Cheol-Ho. Thank you very much from the bottom of my heart.”
He wanted to show his gratitude however he could.
That was why he tried to say something else, but Cale shook his head.
“We don’t have much time because we need to go help the other nearby central shelter as well, so I will keep it short.”
Bae Cheol-Ho thought about the third shelter in the vicinity after hearing Cale say that they didn’t have much time.
“Of course. Please feel free to say whatever you need to say.”
Bae Cheol-Ho grabbed Cale’s hand with both hands as he said that.
Cale continued to speak in a calm voice.
“Is Miss Che Soo Jung here?”
Bae Cheol-Ho’s eyes opened wide.
“…Che Soo Jung?”
“Yes, sir. The lady who makes the flaming bottles.”
“She is. But why do you ask?”
Cale answered Bae Cheol-Ho’s question without any hesitation.
“I need to tell her in person, but… We are thinking about launching a counterattack.”
“Haven’t you heard that the greatest defense is offense?”
As Cale’s expression turned blank after hearing Bae Cheol-Ho answering the same way over and over…
“Do you need me for something?”
A woman wearing round glasses started to walk down from the second floor.
Cale looked into the focused eyes behind the glasses and nodded his head.
“Yes, ma’am, I do.”
The Embodiment of Fire, the Flaming bottles thrower.
Che Soo Jung.
He needed her very much.
Che Soo Jung approached Cale with both suspicions about why he was looking for her as well as gratitude for taking care of the taster monsters.
But Cale had a lot of things to do.
He asked Bae Cheol-Ho a question.
“Ah, Mr. Bae Cheol-Ho. Do you know about Mr. Joo Ho-Shik?”
“…Of course I know him. Isn’t he the leader of the other central shelter?”
Park Jin Tae, Bae Cheol-Ho, and Joo Ho-Shik.
The central shelters led by these three people were the ones in the nearby vicinity.
Bae Cheol-Ho did not look happy while thinking about Joo Ho-Shik.
‘That person is difficult to talk to.’
Even Lee Soo Hyuk who had been the strongest person in this area had found it difficult to handle Joo Ho-Shik.
He was very good to the people in his shelter, but he was difficult to talk to. He was someone who believed in an unusual religion.
Bae Cheol-Ho started to speak.
“Are you planning on going there?”
He continued to speak.
“We need to help them out as well.”
Bae Cheol-Ho grabbed Cale’s hands even tighter in admiration.
Cale found his expression and action to be awkward and slowly pulled his hand away as he continued to speak.
“We need to hurry. We have a lot of things to do.”
Cale started to gently smile.
* * *
“Noona. It’s 6 pm.”
Lee Jin Joo raised her head.
It was the end of autumn.
The wind was starting to get colder as the beginning of winter approached.
The sun was already disappearing under the western sky.
She turned her head and looked toward Cale.
“Rok Soo. It’s almost night time.”
Cale watched the Earth’s sunset for the first time in a long while as he started to speak.
“Yeah. It’s almost night time.”
For the people who had to suffer for a long time in despair…
For Kim Rok Soo’s past that was full of regret…
A night of potential that could bring forth a different future was approaching.