Kim Po-Chul subconsciously started to speak.
“Wait, is something like that possible?”
Joo Ho-Shik gently nodded his head.
“It is possible. You must have faith.”
Kim Po-Chul gulped before turning to the side.
He could see the man who had introduced himself as Kim Rok Soo chatting with some people from his group.
Seo Joon’s aunt Baek Song-Yi also asked in shock.
“Did you really survive without anybody dying? Nobody died all night?”
Her gaze and Seo Joon’s gaze from within her embrace were focused on Kim Min Joon.
Choi Jung Soo’s gaze was focused on Kim Min Joon as well.
Kim Rok Soo had introduced Kim Min Joon to them earlier.
‘Min Joon hyung can explain to you about our situation.’
He had then started to chat with some of his group members to the side.
That was why Choi Jung Soo and the others ended up hearing about the ’24-hour battle’ from Kim Min Joon.
“Yes, sir. There were some people who were injured, but nobody died and so we were able to safely move to the new central shelter.”
Park Mal-Sook was gasping over and over after hearing Kim Min Joon’s calm response.
“So, you’re saying… That young man named Kim Rok Soo used his ‘foresight’ ability as well as many other strong abilities to lead the battle toward victory?”
She looked as if she saw something that was unbelievable.
“Wait, how does that make any sense? How can one person-”
“You must have faith.”
Joo Ho-Shik calmly started to speak.
“I used to be someone who had a lot of doubt and didn’t know what to believe. But the moment I met Mr. Kim Rok Soo, I accepted that unbelievable reality and started to have faith.”
Lee Jin Joo sighed while Kim Min Joon smiled awkwardly and slightly shook his head.
But Joo Ho-Shik remained firm.
“That is why you must have faith.”
His gaze then moved to Seo Joon who was in Baek Song-Yi’s arms.
“Did I lie about anything?”
Seo Joon and the others flinched for a moment, but Seo Joon started to speak once Baek Song-Yi nodded her head.
“Not at all! That uncle and the mister both spoke the truth!”
Seo Joon pointed toward Kim Min Joon and Joo Ho-Shik and was full of confidence.
That was why Kim Po-Chul and Park Mal-Sook gasped.
It was at that moment.
“How is your dinner?”
Cale had walked over and started to speak.
It was less gentle and more stoic than earlier, but it sounded more comfortable, probably because that was Cale’s normal tone.
But the people who were on the receiving end of that question were not feeling good.
Kim Po-Chul started to speak and Cale looked at him with a confused expression.
Kim Po-Chul finished his question after seeing his gaze.
“Are you human?”
Cale then looked toward Kim Min Joon.
Kim Min Joon quickly responded to Kim Po-Chul.
“He is human.”
Then he smiled toward Cale.
‘…Something seems off.’
Cale looked back at the others after getting an iffy feeling. An awkwardly smiling Lee Jin Joo stealthily pointed toward Joo Ho-Shik.
Joo Ho-Shik had his hands clasped together as he looked at Cale.
Cale decided not to think about this anymore.
Instead, he turned toward Choi Jung Soo.
Choi Jung Soo could see Cale start to frown as soon as he looked toward him.
That gaze made him slightly flinch. Choi Jung Soo’s pupils were shaking as he looked at Cale.
‘…He has a foresight ability but can also control fire, water, wind, and a shield? How could such an individual be human?’
Choi Jung Soo was starting to believe less and less that Kim Rok Soo was human after seeing the way Kim Min Joon and Joo Ho-Shik were acting.
He just felt like a different existence than humans.
The fact that such a person had recognized him through foresight was shocking, and it was weird that he was being so friendly.
He also found something weird about himself as well.
‘…I don’t feel any wariness toward him.’
Choi Jung Soo had been quite tense since the world became like this.
It was because he was weak.
This world was now one where the weak could be preyed upon by the strong at any moment.
But for some odd reason, he didn’t feel any wariness toward this man named Kim Rok Soo even after hearing how strong he is.
Choi Jung Soo found that the current situation was even more chaotic as he had never felt this way before.
Cale started to speak at that moment.
Choi Jung Soo saw Cale’s mouth opening as if it was done in slow motion and slowly started to become nervous.
To be clear, it was a different kind of nervousness than wariness.
What would this strong person have to say?
Choi Jung Soo waited for him to speak with a thumping heart and he finally heard Cale’s voice.
“Choi Jung Soo, why did you eat so little?”
Cale was speaking informally to Choi Jung Soo again as he had done when they first met earlier, but he didn’t recognize this as he looked down.
He could see the food that Kim Rok Soo’s group had prepared.
Choi Jung Soo then looked around. He saw the same amount of food in front of other people as well. He also observed the odd gazes from his group as well as Kim Rok Soo’s group.
Choi Jung Soo hesitated and debated what to say before he finally responded.
Since they were the same age and the other side started it…
“I already ate an entire boxed lunch set.”
He’ll just speak informally as well.
Choi Jung Soo had responded with a slightly relaxed expression.
But that made Cale frown even more.
‘One boxed lunch set?! This punk only ate one boxed lunch set?! You always eat at least two plates!’
Cale wanted to say that, but he stopped himself and kept his mouth shut.
‘Man, this is hard to do.’
Cale felt that it wasn’t very good to be the only person to remember things.
Choi Jung Soo urgently started to speak at that moment.
“Umm, it’s been a long time since I could eat so much food! I ate enough!”
It was the truth.
It had been difficult for Choi Jung Soo to eat three meals a day since the world became like this.
Actually, this was the case for not just Choi Jung Soo, but everybody else in this world as well.
“Mm, Mr. Jung Soo?”
Kim Min Joon started to speak to Choi Jung Soo with an awkward expression.
“There is ‘food’ at the new central shelters. We brought ours from there as well.”
Kim Po-Chul’s eyes opened wide as he interjected into the conversation.
“Ho. We knew that there were new central shelters, but we didn’t know anything about them because we never stopped at one.”
Kim Po-Chul clicked his tongue as if he was disappointed. He had not cared much about the fact that there were new central shelters because he was trying to get to his family as quickly as possible.
“Yes, sir. That is why we’ve been telling people we’ve come across where the nearest central shelters are located.”
“…There are more than one or two new central shelters that have popped up. You know where all of them are located?”
Kim Po-Chul could see Kim Min Joon look toward Kim Rok Soo after hearing his question. (Kim party )
It was a gesture that made a response not necessary.
Kim Po-Chul gasped once more.
Cale started to speak again at that moment.
The others who had been chatting at a distance had walked over and were looking at Cale as well.
Of course, Choi Jung Soo flinched after seeing the Dark Tiger standing behind Cale.
It was scary even if he knew that it was on the human side.
‘The other monsters aren’t here.’
The other two monsters left saying that they had things to do nearby.
But this tiger monster was now quiet and seemed aloof.
‘No, is it blanking out?’
Choi Jung Soo looked at the slightly different tiger monster for a while before making eye contact with Choi Han who was standing in front of the Dark Tiger.
Choi Jung Soo realized something at that moment.
They had said that Choi Han was the strongest person in the group.
For some very weird reason…
‘Do I have even less wariness toward this person than even Kim Rok Soo?’
Choi Han was standing there with a stoic expression, but it did not seem threatening at all to Choi Jung Soo.
It didn’t seem to be because Choi Han was younger than Choi Jung Soo.
‘What is going on?’
Cale continued to speak as Choi Jung Soo became even more confused while looking at Cale and Choi Han.
“It is approximately 7:30 pm right now. The Gyeongju Service area on the Gyeongbu Expressway is about one hour away.”
The Gyeongju Service area.
That word made them tense.
Busan was pretty close to Gyeongju.
It would take less than an hour by bus from the Gyeongju terminal to Busan’s Nopo-dong terminal.
They were almost at Busan.
They might be able to get to Busan in two days.
“…I didn’t know the exact location.”
Park Mal-Sook’s voice was shaking as they had been moving down the Gyeongbu Expressway without much knowledge.
Cale continued to speak at that moment.
“That is why I think it might be better to keep moving for another hour and spend the night at the Gyeongju Service area.”
Kim Po-Chul’s eyes opened wide at that moment.
“Wait, you want to keep moving even though the sun went down?”
“Yes, sir. Please come with us.”
Cale calmly responded as Cale’s group members cleaned up the traces of their dinner and prepared to move again.
Cale then looked toward Ko Seo Joon.
“Since you have a child with you, it is probably going to be more comfortable inside the service area rather than out here in the middle of the road even if the building is slightly damaged.”
Baek Song-Yi started to speak.
The nocturnal monsters appeared at night.
Humans had more restrictions than these nocturnal monsters at night. That was why they didn’t like running into monsters during the night.
“The night is a bit dang-!”
Baek Song-Yi could not finish her sentence.
They heard noises from the forest.
There were yellow eyes looking at them from within the forest.
Monsters that resembled hyenas came out of the forest.
Kim Po-Chul subconsciously started to speak.
“I, it’s because we had a fire!”
They had started a fire for dinner.
Originally, Choi Jung Soo’s group would curl up and spend the night in the darkness without a fire. They took turns standing watch except for Seo Joon and they were always ready to start running.
More yellow eyes started to appear.
“Those bastards move as a pack!”
Kim Po-Chul pulled at his hair.
“Aigoo, I’m going to go cwazy!” (Remember that the misspellings are on purpose. )
He then quickly looked for his weapon and tried to grab it. He then thought about something.
“…D, don’t those bastards have a pack leader?”
Monsters with yellow eyes that resembled hyenas.
These monsters moved in large packs.
They all had a leader.
“That’s right. That leader is a Grade 1 monster.”
He turned his head after hearing a calm voice to see Cale nodding his head and pointing somewhere.
“It’s over there.”
He then saw a pair of red eyes within the horde of yellow eyes.
A monster that was at least three times the size of the other hyena monsters stepped forward.
Cale watched it move before continuing to speak in a calm voice.
“Mm. It looks to be one of the stronger Grade 1 monsters. That must be why it is trying to attack even though we have a Grade 1 leader monster here.”
Cale caressed the Dark Tiger’s mane.
Kim Po-Chul started to speak in shock.
“Wait, how can you be so calm?”
It was at that moment.
The leader hyena monster roared and the hyena monsters in the front started to charge forward.
As Kim Po-Chul gasped and Choi Jung Soo got into position to fight…
They saw a flash of rose gold light moving past them.
Before they could even realize what it was…
They heard a loud explosion.
In the middle of the dark night…
A rose gold thunderbolt slammed down on the ground.
It landed right in the middle between the monsters and the humans.
There was a long line drawn on the ground where the thunderbolt had struck.
Choi Jung Soo urgently turned his head.
That rose gold thunderbolt just now…
He looked toward Cale who had sent it flying.
Joo Ho-Shik had moved next to Cale at some point and had his hands clasped together.
Choi Jung Soo could see that Cale was looking not at the monsters in front but the leader hyena monster in the back.
Cale started to speak to the monster that would be called the ‘Red Hyena’ in the future.
“You guys are dead if you cross that line.”
Choi Jung Soo’s jaw dropped…
And the Red Hyena launched an angry roar.
The yellow eyed hyena monsters seemed to be gathering their fighting spirits as if to respond to him.
Choi Jung Soo could see two people darting forward at that moment.
“I’ll be back soon!”
“I’ll be back soon too!”
Kim Min Ah was moving forward while holding a large spear and Bae Puh Rum was shooting forward like an arrow with the wind surrounding him.
Cale watched them move as he started to speak.
“Park Jin Tae.”
“Tell the kids that it is more important for us to keep moving without having anybody injured than to fight these monsters.”
Park Jin Tae grabbed his gun and chased after Kim Min Ah and Bae Puh Rum. He then turned around and asked Cale a question.
“Am I taking care of that leader-looking bastard too?”
Cale shook his head and looked to the side.
He put his hand on the shoulder of the person who was even quieter than usual and just smiling every so often.
The two of them exchanged glances for a moment.
They were able to get a message across with that short glance because of their relationship. Cale opened his mouth to speak.
“You got it?”
Choi Han didn’t ask what that ‘it’ was.
But Choi Han’s gaze moved to Choi Jung Soo for a moment.
“I’ll take care of their leader.”
Choi Han then quickly moved forward.
Choi Jung Soo made eye contact with Choi Han for a moment.
‘Did I see wrong?’
It was so short that he wondered if he had seen incorrectly.
It was at that moment.
Choi Han drew his sword as he ran toward the Red Hyena.
The draw was as natural as the flowing water.
Choi Jung Soo found the movement to be oddly familiar.
Choi Jung Soo focused on Choi Han with a blank expression as he quietly mumbled to himself.
Cale was looking at Choi Jung Soo. He then recalled what Choi Han had said before.
‘I need to teach him. The things that have been cut off need to be passed down again.’
He had then said something else.
‘I also want to leave him something. Choi Jung Soo struggled a lot on his own.’
Cale snapped out of his thoughts and moved his hand forward.
He had a job to do as well.
Choi Jung Soo’s group could see a silver shield surrounding them.
Choi Jung Soo gasped in admiration while looking at the silver shield. The shield that had beautiful wings truly looked holy.
“Choi Jung Soo.”
He could then see Cale who had walked up toward him.
“What is it?”
Cale walked close to Choi Jung Soo and whispered quietly such that only he could hear.
“Don’t you want to get stronger?”
Choi Jung Soo could see Cale smiling at him after asking that question.
* * *
Wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing- wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing- wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiing-
The sharp sound of the alarm in the middle of the night shook the castle.
“Wut is going on?!”
An old man who was sleeping suddenly jumped up.
The castle’s alarm went from the lowest at level 8 to the highest at level 1 while having a separate extremely urgent alarm.
But the current alarm was a level 1 alarm.
It was the highest level other than the extremely urgent alarm.
Bang bang bang!
The old man quickly opened the door after hearing the urgent banging.
The messenger was standing in front of the door with an urgent expression.
“Wut is going on?!”
The old man asked as he quickly gathered his bag. This man was called a Doctor because he was the Director of the ‘Bright as the Sun Oriental Medical Clinic’ and had a healing ability.
The messenger quickly continued to speak.
“We’ve received reports that the ‘leader bastards’ have appeared again!”
Doctor Kang stopped moving and looked toward the messenger.
“What? Those bastards?”
The leader bastards.
The people who had survived the terrible battle in Busan had discussed the leader bastards once they shared information afterward.
These bastards were the ones who led six Grade 1 monsters during the bloody 24 hours long battle and attacked their older central shelters.
They were much stronger than the other Grade 1 monsters.
They were also capable of speaking human language.
“A, and there are three of them!”
‘Three of those monsters have appeared again?!’
This might be the precursor that another bloody battle that lasts 24 hours might start again.
Doctor Kang understood why the level 1 alarm had sounded.
The old man looked astonished while the messenger still had an urgent look on his face.
Doctor Kang heard a confident voice behind him at that moment.
“Where are they?”
Doctor Kang turned around.
“…Soo Hyuk, you’re up?”
He looked toward a man who had been sleeping without being able to clean off all the monster blood on him.
The man who stood up using his scabbard like a cane started to speak with an extremely tired voice.
“Where are they?”
“Ye rest! You worked hard all day so get some rest!”
Lee Soo Hyuk was looking at the messenger regardless of what Doctor Kang said.
The messenger was looking at the scabbard Lee Soo Hyuk was using as a cane.
The scabbard was dark red from dried monster blood as well.
This was that sword.
The sharpest sword that could cut anything.
The messenger looked away from the sword and looked toward Lee Soo Hyuk.
The messenger subconsciously flinched after seeing Lee Soo Hyuk’s gaze.
‘…He is a good person, but…’
He was a good person who had rescued a lot of people, but he was scary because he was in a bad mood.
This person was becoming as cold and sharp as his sword as time went by.
The messenger quickly started to speak.
“They are by the North gate!”
The central shelter that had appeared in Seomyeon, Busan… It had gates to the north, south, east, and west.
The messenger’s report continued.
“And there are humans with them!”
Both Doctor Kang and Lee Soo Hyuk looked confused.
Doctor Kang urgently started to speak.
“Ain’t they humans the monsters took hostage?”
“They are not hostages!”
“Then wut are they?”
It was at that moment.
“Hang-nim!” (This was first used to imagine the bandit leader speaking with a twang as he mispronounces hyung-nim and says hang-nim. Here we see is again for satoori. )
Another messenger appeared.
“Huff. Huff. Soo Hyuk hang-nim, huff. Huff.”
The young man who was catching his breath turned toward Lee Soo Hyuk.
“What is it?”
“Hang-nim, the monsters and humans are looking for you.”
‘Why are they looking for me?’
Lee Soo Hyuk started to frown and slowly headed toward the door.
He needed to figure out what was going on.
The messenger caught his breath and started to speak again.
“Hang-nim, do you know someone named Kim Rok Soo?”
Lee Soo Hyuk stopped moving for a moment.
His eyes opened wide.
“Kim Rok Soo.”
Kim Rok Soo.
It didn’t seem real because he had not heard this name in a while.
For four seasons…
Winter, spring, summer, and fall…
And winter was coming back again.
For all that time…
No matter how many people he saved…
No matter how hard he tried…
Lee Soo Hyuk was getting tired of person after person dying.
He now heard the name of someone he had met before he got tired of all of this.
Lee Soo Hyuk subconsciously started to speak.
“That’s impossible. How can that weak bastard come all the way here?”
It made no sense at all.
The messenger said something even more unbelievable at that moment.
The messenger stumbled over his words as he was shocked and baffled.
“That, umm, uhh, he said that he’s just going to go home if you don’t hurry up and come out?”
Lee Soo Hyuk started to speak.
The way this person talked…
“…It really is Kim Rok Soo?”