Chapter 9 – The First Hunter (3)
31 December 2016, 23:53.
With 2017 just in sight, the nightlife of Bucheon City’s downtown was alive with disaster.
In front of the Bucheon City shopping mall was a very wide, 10 lane roundabout full of crashed cars.
It looked as though dozens of centipedes made up of cars were strewn across the huge road.
There were also many bodies.
At least the bodies under the deflated airbags were in a better condition than others.
Walking through the tapestry of shattered glass amongst the numerous car collisions, it was impossible not to notice the broken bodies strewn across the floor.
But perhaps the worst ones were the bodies that were torn to pieces by the strange monsters.
It was definitely hell.
It was 13 degrees below 0, thanks to that, the New Year’s cold was stopping the bodies from decaying.
But one thing was clear. In all of South Korea’s history, 31 December 2016 was the most depressing day.
The icing on the cake on this horrible day was the appearance of a black orc who seemed to be watching the scene of carnage as though it was relishing in its accomplishments.
It was a scene where not even a single street light was working, there were only a few cars that still had functioning headlights sparsely scattered throughout the mess, making it impossible to find the black skinned orc with one’s naked eye.
Nonetheless, even without visibility, people would still be able to feel its terrifying presence.
There was a vicious killing intent emanating from its orange eyes, making it impossible for others to turn a blind eye to it because it would not turn a blind eye in return.
While relentlessly giving off that atmosphere, he saw Kim Tae Hoon standing atop a relatively empty portion of the wide road surrounded by the rest of the carnage that had occurred.
The black orc only looked at Kim Tae Hoon.
It was proof of its discernment.
It had not forgotten that Kim Tae Hoon was not by himself.
It remembered that there were different kinds of people around Kim Tae Hoon.
Of course these others were not very big threats to the black orc, but they were nuisances and could eventually grow to threaten it.
The ending of the battle it had with Kim Tae Hoon earlier was proof of that.
Afterall, Kim Tae Hoon was the only one who really did anything substantial when fighting against the black orc. He had succeeded in stopping the black orc although he was not successful in killing it.
In other words, once Kim Tae Hoon is killed, everything will be over.
If Kim Tae Hoon wasn’t there, the black orc would not have been hindered when trying to leave the second basement level and the black orc could have stopped the other survivors from leaving as well.
Imagining a scene where the black orc was drenched in warm blood out in this cold weather, the black orc couldn’t help but shiver in excitement. As the fantasy came to an end, the black orc hesitated no longer.
It once more stepped towards Kim Tae Hoon.
There was once more another disturbance on the abandoned road.
Against such an opponent, Kim Tae Hoon had to use his telekinesis. He wanted to lift the black orc’s moving body.
But …… .
The black orc stomped on the floor, and blew away Kim Tae Hoon’s telekinesis that was wrapping its body.
The black orc had not grown more powerful.
So the reason why it had been able to shake off Kim Tae Hoon’s telekinesis was obvious.
Kim Tae Hoon’s telekinesis had weakened. His concentration, stamina, and spirit had all reached rock bottom.
More than anything, he could not properly draw the image.
He tried to draw an image where there was a pressure that pushed down on the black orc.
From the black orc came a cry that greatly resembled laughter, but not just laughter, ridicule.
It was a confident laugh.
It was confident that Kim Tae Hoon could no longer stop it, at best, Kim Tae Hoon could probably stop it for a mere few seconds.
As a result, the black orc didn’t feel in danger when Kim Tae Hoon once again suppressed it and stopped it from moving, and in fact, it felt amused.
The black orc didn’t let loose a loud cry like he had done before to cancel the effects of Kim Tae Hoon’s telekinesis. Looking at its eyes, Kim Tae Hoon could tell that the black orc was ridiculing him.
It looked at Kim Tae Hoon.
‘The clever ones are always so dirty.’
Ignoring the pleased look on the black orc’s face, Kim Tae Hoon looked at the black orc like a smart man would a weakling who was stirring up trouble.
It was at that moment that the black orc thought that there was something off about the way Kim Tae Hoon was looking at it.
From its left, the black orc heard a loud sound shatter the darkness.
With a loud sound a car suddenly appeared.
A black Mercedes S-Class car with a similar size to the black orc and boasting a 250 horsepower engine came crashing into the black orc.
The black orc could not dodge the car in time.
Kim Tae Hoon had froze the black orc for a few seconds.
Eventually, an eerie roar covered the expanse of the wide road as the car hit the black orc.
The black orc once again let loose a loud and eerie cry.
It wasn’t just a cry in response to the pain.
The black orc had let out a roar in order to brace itself with its immense strength in the face of the several hundred horsepower car.
With that goal in mind, the black orc began to lift the sedan.
The monster had herculean strength.
Of the four wheels that were furiously spinning on the asphalt road, two of them began to spin on air.
Kim Tae Hoon’s telekinesis no longer had any effect on the black orc.
But Kim Tae Hoon did not panic.
Rather it was the opposite.
He did not flee although he had ample opportunity to do so. Instead, he waited in the cold weather to see what the black orc would do. Kim Tae Hoon stood on the wide road and waited for the black orc all for the sake of the hunt.
When a hunter hunts a large prey, he never prepares only one trap.
At that moment, the sound of another engine coming to life from behind the black orc who was still wrestling with the Mercedes Benz penetrated through the darkness.
At that moment, the black orc turned its head in fear.
A large bus slammed into the black orc.
Kim Tae Hoon let out a sigh for the first.
From Kim Tae Hoon’s mouth came out a white breath as though it were like a beacon.
‘We got him.’
1 January 2017, that’s how Kim Tae Hoon survived.
“It’s not as cold as you would think it would be. Don’t you agree?”
Ahn Sun Mi perked up at what Bang Hyun Wook said and frowned.
“Is that a joke?”
From her mouth came out some thorny words.
She thought that Bang Hyun Wook was being crass and poking fun at her, which she thought was natural to do so.
It was New Years 12 AM 2017, and the weather was in South Korea was unbelievably cold.
There was a faint wind blowing through the wide roads, not a single street lamp brightening up the way. The fact that there were no living creatures around made it all the more desolate.
Ahn Sun Mi felt that it was the coldest day of her life.
If it weren’t for the fact that Kim Tae Hoon was fiddling around with an axe in order to get the black orc’s heart crystal, Ahn Sun Mi wouldn’t have bothered to stay out in the cold wind with just one hot pack to depend on.
But Bang Hyun Wook happened to be sincere in what he said.
“But it really isn’t that cold…….”
He really wasn’t feeling that cold.
It was thanks to the energy that he had that the cold didn’t really affect him.
Looking at Bang Hyun Wook, Ahn Sun Mi gave a curt reply.
“To not be able to feel the cold in cold weather is a bad sign.”
“When a human’s body temperature falls, the body focuses the flow of blood around the heart and the brain in order to maintain their function. On the other hand, the limbs and other extremities that are far away from the heart and the brain turn cold as a result of the blood circulation in those areas being cut off. Then, to prevent the destruction of those limbs, the body will concentrate blood into those areas. From there, you run a fever. It’s enough to make you want to take off all your clothes, including your undergarments.”
After speaking, Ahn Sun Mi looked around her surroundings. There were nude corpses strewn about everywhere.
Although the human body is stronger than you would think, it is susceptible to instant destruction once the mind begins to break down.
In fact, dying of hypothermia while in the cold is the same for humans as it is for monsters.
“Once your clothes come off, the symptoms of hypothermia are exacerbated, and then the countdown starts.”
”Are you a doctor?”
Ahn Sun Mi laughed bitterly in response to Bang Hyun Wook’s question.
”What doctor, that’s just slavery.”
That’s what she thought.
A good doctor would stay in the emergency room at the end of the year in case of emergencies, not go to the nearest super mall to buy cigarettes, caffeine, and snacks.
“I’m just a slave that goes on errands to buy cigarettes at the end of the year.”
However, she was grateful.
‘Because I was at the mall I survived…….’
If she were still at the hospital, she probably would have died by now.
There were many knives and sharp tools in the hospital, but there definitely would not have been any weapons good enough to fight against a black orc, and there definitely would not have been anyone capable enough to fight a black orc.
But on the contrary, it was a source of comfort for her despite the serious situation she was in.
‘Can I still survive from here on out?’
Even before the year ended, the city was full of noise and had turned into hell.
But this was just the beginning.
If she wants to survive in the future, it would be necessary to have to experience the same tribulations she had experienced today.
“Excuse me, I’m just curious, but what’s the salary of a doctor?”
Like that, he asked Ahn Sun Mi a completely shameless and nonsense question considering the situation they were in.
Fortunately Ahn Sun Mi had no need to answer his question.
Kim Tae Hoon’s axe finally stopped.
The conversation between Ahn Sun Mi and Bang Hyun Wook stopped as well, and the two of them looked at Kim Tae hoon who had stopped.
After removing the heart from the black orc’s corpse, Kim Tae Hoon wrenched out an orange gem embedded in the heart.
It was a monster stone.
Kim Tae Hoon walked towards Ahn Sun Mi and Bang Hyun Wook who were waiting for him, and commanded Bang Hyun Wook,
“Take a picture.”
After quickly rummaging about, Bang Hyun Wook took out his smart phone.
Bang Hyun Wook who had taken out his smartphone let out a sigh. The smartphone’s LCD screen had spider web cracks all over it.
”Shit, I just bought this last month!”
“Take the picture.”
Kim Tae Hoon ignored Bang Hyun Wook’s grumbling.
“Ah, right away!”
Bang Hyun Wook could only swallow a bitter smile as he turned on the camera on his phone.
Then he aimed the camera at Kim Tae Hoon’s face.
Kim Tae Hoon’s slightly angry face was shown on the cracked LCD screen.
Ahn Sun Mi said to Bang Hyun Wook on Kim Tae Hoon’s behalf,
“Take a picture of the monster stone…”
Bang Hyun Wook swiftly aimed his camera at Kim Tae Hoon’s palm.
With a flash, the camera took the picture.
[Black Orc’s Crystal]
– Strength and stamina increase on consumption
– Rank of Energy increases on consumption.
– Rank of Physical Defense increases on consumption.
– Grants the chance to learn the Black Orc’s [Black Skin] ability on consumption.
The description for the Black Orc’s Crystal was visible in translucent letters.
“Wow, doesn’t that look like a rare item?”
An excited Bang Hyun Wook exclaimed.
However, as soon as Kim Tae Hoon checked the contents of the description, he decisively swallowed the Black Orc’s Crystal.
Then, before Ahn Sun Mi and Bang Hyun Wook’s surprised expressions could turn back to normal, Kim Tae Hoon snatched the smartphone from Bang Hyun Wook’s hand and took a picture of the tattoo on his hand.
– Strength : 28
– Stamina: 23
– Energy : F+ Rank
– Mana : F Rank
– Telekinesis : A Rank
– Physical Defense : F+ Rank
– Magic Defense: F Rank
– Black Skin (Grade 6) : Using the power of the Black Orc, physical defense increases by consuming energy.
Having confirmed that he can still grow and evolve himself and his abilities, Kim Tae Hoon laughed.
‘I have a rough idea of what to do next.’
It was at that moment that the first hunter was born.