Chapter 40 – United (1)
An open space meant for erecting a building.
“Get rid of this lump! It’s in the way!”
For a brief moment, this area was full of despair, but before long, the sounds of construction and manual labor began to ring out.
“I need two more here!”
“I need three more people here! Hurry!”
At the middle of all of them hubbub was the body of a giant snake.
A Black Snake.
The creature that had instilled fear and and despair in all was now paying the price.
There were people clinging onto the snake’s body like ants, chipping away at its flesh little by little.
Their methods were also varied.
“The power saw stopped! Oil! Get some oil over here!”
Some were using power saws that would be used in construction zones to cut its skin, while others were using pickaxes and shovels to dig away at its flesh.
“Careful, careful! Watch out for the crane!”
There were also cranes and forklifts being utilized to help move part of the body.
Of course it was difficult.
“Ugh, this is harder than physical labor.”
“I’d rather do deliveries. Just what kind of creature’s body······.”
On the contrary, they were overflowing with vitality.
“Well I think it’s fine that it’s difficult like this.”
“It’s been awhile since I sweat so much, it’s refreshing.”
Some of them were relishing in just working their hands and doing some labor.
“Break time, break time!”
It was like pouring oil on the flames of his enthusiasm and stoking the flames.
“Today’s menu is ramen, rice cake ramen!”
There was a huge cauldron that had been salvaged from a nearby restaurant, and inside was the boiling rice cake ramen, saliva dripping from everyone’s mouths.
Everyone stopped what they were doing and began to eat.
Eating the hot noodles in the cold and freezing weather, everyone let out refreshed sighs.
It was a warm sight just seeing it.
However, Chang Sung Hoon’s expression whilst looking at it wasn’t very good.
“Hyung, would you like a bowl?”
Bang Hyun Wook asked Chang Sung Hoon. But he did not answer. Chang Sung Hoon stared at the Black Snake’s corpse with a firm expression on his face.
“Sung Hoon hyung!”
“Just eat on your own for now, I’m good.”
“Are you really not going to eat? If you ask for a bite to eat I won’t give you any.”
With those words trailing behind him, Bang Hyun Wook ran towards the line that had formed in front of the cauldron. Seeing that, Chang Sung Hoon’s slightly relaxed face stiffened again.
He once again took a look at the Black Snake’s corpse. At this moment, Chang Sung Hoon was concerned about one thing.
‘Where should I go?’
There was a lot to do in the future.
First he needed to make items out of the Black Snake’s skin while the Mek Clan was transitioning into the Mek Guild, which meant that he would need to create a clan consisting of subordinates even though the public representative still needed to be selected.
There were still many important things to have to do after that.
The immediate priority was to develop self-sufficiency. In other words, they needed to secure farmland. They needed more survivors to swell up the ranks of the laborers.
The entire winter would be very busy with just these.
The issues came afterwards.
If Messiah’s previous leader, Lee Jin Sung, was correct, then there were monsters stronger than the Black Snake in Bucheon City’s vicinity.
According to what they knew now, a monster’s strength could be categorized by its eye color.
The lowest rating is red, the next after that is orange, and above that is yellow.
There was a high chance that their strength was categorized by the seven colors of the rainbow.
According to this categorization system, the Black Snake, which had locked the entire city in fear, was only the second strongest monster from the bottom.
‘It was only the third form the bottom.’
The dragon, which had briefly appeared above Bucheon City and had appeared before Kim Tae Hoon in the future, had Indigo-eyed pupils.
‘If we encounter a yellow-eyed one we won’t die, but if we step on a green mine, it’s game over.’
Currently, the only ones that Kim Tae Hoon can deal with are yellow grade.
Even if they encounter and successfully kill a green eyed monster, Kim Tae Hoon’s death would be inevitable.
‘Even if we do nothing, it’s game over.’
However, they couldn’t just sit still in Bucheon, they needed to move out.
If they stayed only in Bucheon City, then eventually, they’ll be struck by a monster who some day decides to visit Bucheon.
If they stay in Bucheon, it would be the same as being trapped in a cage for monsters to farm humans.
‘Anyways, we have to move.’
It was only a matter of time before they left.
If they wanted to live, they needed to keep on the move.
However, it was as he said, who knew where a threat could come from.
It was like walking through a minefield with no information.
“It’ll be a real fucking pile of shit.”
It was almost as though Chang Sung Hoon were obsessed with this prospect.
If it were a difficult problem, then he would be hard-pressed to find a solution and eventually come across a solution, but the problem he faced at the moment wasn’t difficult.
Even if he worried, an answer wouldn’t miraculously appear.
Bang Hyun Wook approached Chang Sung Hoon with a bowl in his hand.
“I said I wouldn’t eat.”
Chang Sung Hoon said in a mixed voice.
“Hyungnim is here.”
Chang Sung Hoon couldn’t help but be surprised.
He was surprised to see that those who were eating the ramen noodles were all standing up and bowing their waists.
It was indeed like the return of a king.
Kim Tae Hoon appeared before Chang Sung Hoon’s gaze. He spoke very briefly.
“I’ll have a cup of coffee before I leave.”
“Oh my God.”
“This is impossible. This, all by himself······.”
Two men, in a butcher’s vinyl apron and sporting rubber gloves along with butcher’s tools, looked upon the carnage.
What was spread before them was a road with corpses.
There were corpses strewn about on the road. Humans aren’t like monsters. All humans had similar bodies whereas there are many kinds of monsters.
What was surprising was their condition.
“The corpses, their conditions······.”
“Is this possible?”
Some had holes in their heads while others were scalped.
Some corpses had both. None of the bodies were devoid of either of them.
If this was the result of a rain of bullets or the work of powerful explosives, there we be no reason not to believe the scene the before them.
As a result, the men who had come to dismantle and handle the bodies were struck frozen with shock.
Amongst them was also Bang Hyun Wook.
Bang Hyun Wook was tasked to protect the men who had come to dismantle the corpses, but at the moment, he was silently observing the massacre carried about by Kim Tae Hoon.
Shortly thereafter he clicked his tongue.
‘The right toe, and even the right arm.’
Bang Hyun Wook’s could only swallow any complaints or remarks, his gaze complicated.
His memory of what happened on December 31st came to mind.
He recalled the moment when he decided to follow after Kim Tae Hoon.
From that moment, he had thought that he was the only awakened who could help him.
He knew that he couldn’t replace him, but he thought that he could at least fill in the event that Kim Tae Hoon disappeared.
‘What have I been doing?’
But now he knew that all of those thoughts were worthless.
‘During that time······.’
Bang Hyun Wook looked at his right hand. Looking at his right hand, Bang Hyun Wook felt a variety of emotions.
And at that time.
“Oh my God.”
Next to Bang Hyun Wook was another man whose emotions were in turmoil.
“Whale, just how much did this punk hoard away?”
A seemingly ordinary single-family house. A two-story single-family house with a garden.
The interior of the house was full of all kinds of artwork.
In Chang Sung Hoon’s eyes, it was a strange land.
“I had heard that Whale was collecting anything and everything, but I didn’t know that it would be like this. Seeing his collection, I think he was a kleptomaniac. He obviously had no real interest in this stuff and was just stealing them for the sake of stealing. I’ve never seen anything like this.”
Seeing everything around him, Chang Sung Hoon sported a bitter smile on his mouth.
“What I say is funny now, if there were people like that before the catastrophe, then it would be normal for people to be like that now.”
That was the only complaint until then.
Chang Sung Hoon did not forget why he was here. He immediately took out his smartphone.
“It’s too much to take a picture one at a time.”
The only reason he had come was to look for artifacts that might help in the war against monsters in the future.
Instead of answering, Kim Tae Hoon picked up a small bottle that was in his vicinity.
He then tossed it towards Chang Sung Hoon. Chang Sung Hoon reflexively reached out and caught it. He then looked up.
Why had Kim Tae Hoon suddenly handed this to him?
Kim Tae Hoon promptly answered his doubts.
“It’s a relic.”
Kim Tae Hoon began to look around instead of replying to Chang Sung Hoon. [TN: This seems to be a recurring theme…]
His eyes were glowing black.
He had activated the Black Snake’s Eyes.
The power of the Black Snake’s Eyes revealed a different world to him.
Kim Tae Hoon’s eyes revealed the relics. It was like wearing smart glasses– as soon as he saw a relic, he could see the artifact’s abilities.
The painting that Kim Tae Hoon saw was like that.
Before the naked eye, it was nothing but a beautiful figure drawn in the Joseon Dynasty. There was no descriptor about the work or the artist.
But to Kim Tae Hoon, it was different.
[Blessed Portrait of a Beauty]
– Relic Grade: Grade 5
– Relic Rarity : Rare
– Relic Effect : Consumes mana to bless a target with increased Strength.
The Black Snake’s Eyes revealed the hidden description of the portrait of a beauty.
Meanwhile, Chang Sung Hoon was looking at a picture of the wine bottle that Kim Tae Hoon had tossed him.
“Do your eyes reveal the artifacts boss?”
Again, instead of replying, Kim Tae Hoon looked around and pointed out other pieces of artwork.
Chang Sung Hoon didn’t ask anymore. He began to take pictures of the artwork that Kim Tae Hoon pointed out.
What should have taken a long time to find was quickly processed.
After taking a look at the artifact, it was Chang Sung Hoon’s turn.
“There’s nothing wrong with what I see. The really valuable stuff should be hidden all throughout the residence. For example, a classic hiding spot would be something like a wardrobe.”
Like a ghost, Chang Sung Hoon started to sniff out Baek Sung Taek’s, the original owner, stashes.
Starting from the wardrobes, he eventually took a look inside the thicker doors, and even dug through the flower pots on the veranda!
The wallpaper was the jackpot.
“It’s an unspoken rule not to hide your most valuable possessions in an obvious location like a safe.”
Chang Sung Hoon had torn through the house before finally ripping off the wallpaper.
What he saw behind the wallpaper was a painting, silently sitting there.
A boundless and unstoppable gale.
None would be able to stand before it.
The artist’s signature and seal were stamped, still in tact, onto the painting.
This was the most surprised expression that Chang Sung Hoon had made before Kim Tae Hoon.
“This is impossible. Is this genuine······ an unpublished work by Chusa······.”
Chusa, Kim Jung Hee.
It was a weighty name, one which Chang Sung Hoon couldn’t help but make a face.
On the other hand, Kim Tae Hoon was stone faced. Instead, he gave a warning. [TN: Alas, such works of art are wasted upon the uncultured hero of our dear novel.]
“Grab the goods and backup.”
“Why? Just what are you saying right now······.”
The hand that was swiftly beckoning towards Chang Sung Hoon to back up was tinged black.
Kim Tae Hoon, his ability having gone beyond his arms and reached his shoulders, aimed to unleash his power towards an unremarkable piece of wall.
His strengthened fist busted a hole right through the tough wall.
Debris began to fall onto the floor, and in that process, what was hiding within the wall was revealed. [TN: I tried to translate this sentence as vague as I can. The raws don’t make it clear if there was an object or a creature hidden within.]