Chapter 53

[The one in the middle is acting strange…]

[It completely disappeared after hearing the gunshot. Is it staying completely still?]

The two communicated remotely from a distance. Various abilities were acquired through the amplification and modulation of their recently obtained electromagnetic wave ability. Furthermore, they were able to expand their detection capabilities by better understanding and implementing electromagnetic wave principles on their current abilities.

One of these newfound upgrades was in their ‘communication ability. They were able to amplify their communication by using ‘electromagnetic waves’ as their main frequency. Additionally, their echolocation-like ability was upgraded, allowing them to triangulate moving objects with greater precision.

[What areas are you getting a response from?] San asked.

[Areas A23, D47, and P53.] Biyeon responded.

[Too wide. Try scanning again.]

[… D47?]

[What the hell…]

[It’s not a Hawk?]

[It’s a person…?]

[It seems to be a sum… moned.]

[Fuck…]

[I think it would be better to withdraw.]

[Yeah. It seems like they’re finishing up at the base too...]

Episode 2. Book 1: Exploration – Chapter 18

The last Algon’s head exploded as it fell onto the bloodied ground. It seemed that all the dangerous monsters and beasts were taken care of. Dongye looked around. He had already caught three Algons by himself.

A total of 12 Algons were caught this evening alone. A countless number of Alpins and other smaller beasts were caught as well. Among them, there were quite a few beasts he’d never seen before. The dead beasts were scattered throughout the plaza. The surviving monsters and beasts fled back into the forest. The night’s hunt was coming to a close.

Dongye examined the entire square in detail. There were still small fires everywhere in the square, and the air was musky and hot from the smoke and residual heat. The warriors and hunters breathed in smells of blood and sweat. Dongye searched for San and Biyeon. The two were mixed naturally amongst the people in the square. They were ordering their support staff to do ‘trivial’ things. A smile appeared on Dongye’s face.

‘Phew- I really don’t understand those people.’

They came to him at the most pressing and decisive moment of the battle. They told him to take over the operation and disappeared into the woods. He still didn’t understand why. Soon afterward, a series of magical situations occurred.

Dongye was surprised to see these untrained people placed in the exact right place to counter the opponent’s every move. It was as if the support staff had made a promise to meet the monsters and beasts at certain locations at specific time periods throughout the battle. Furthermore, they were able to counter every attack with beautiful precision and efficacy.

The entire situation unfolded in such a sophisticated manner that he had to believe that they expected everything as if it was all choreographed. Among the numerous weird contraptions they had installed during the day for this evening's fateful battle, there was nothing unnecessary.

Without a single one of the countermeasures, it would’ve been a very difficult, uphill battle.

The right weapons were always within reach and the beasts fell into well-placed trenches, entangling themselves in the trenches’ vines. They were further stabbed by stationary spears and burned in oil.

The most dangerous point during the battle was the attacks from the sky, but even these flying creatures were effectively countered with a new type of weapon, a torch attached to a long spear, another weapon that was made in advance. At the moment of greatest peril, when the air beasts were closing in, they dispersed like magic, scattering into all four corners. At the same time, a group of ground-based monsters that had rushed into the square mysteriously began to disperse. The beasts, who were oddly organized and moving menacingly, suddenly became wary of each other and rapidly ran away. From then on, it wasn’t a battle but rather a massacre of an organized group of hunters against bewildered monsters and beasts.

There were enough weapons to fight, and the hunters were showing proper organizational movements. Dongye himself, according to the unfolding situation, just shouted out orders. The entire operation proceeded like a master artist's painting.

Fortunately for Dongye, the Dong-Myung warriors showed overwhelming strength and achievement during this battle. It was to the point that the words ‘Of course, the Dong-Myung Clan!’ came out of every participant’s mouth. In this more ‘liberal’ combat environment, the clansmen were all able to take advantage of the right weapons and led the base camp's defense in all four corners.

‘I unexpectedly became a hero…’

Dongye laughed bitterly. Now, with the hunt over, all of the warriors and hunters gathered in the square and cheered with their fists clenched and raised high. It was the greatest tribute that could be offered to the person who organized and commanded this fantastic defense. It was also an honor to a hero who saved lives by leading others through a crisis. While receiving this adoration, Dongye’s looked for San and Biyeon again. He couldn’t find them.

‘They want me to finish up as well?’

Dongye was a seasoned leader who had led many large and small combat campaigns. He knew how to do this. He also guessed what those two people intended. Even though it felt like he was taking undeserved credit, he was sure that they were correct in giving him this platform and recognition. This was because he received a clear message that they didn’t want to reveal themselves.

Dongye slowly raised his right hand. With that small movement, the power and prestige of an Absolute Clan, the Dong-Myung Clan, could be felt. Thrilling energy spread like lightning throughout the square. The commotion settled down instantly. The eyes of these fervent hunters looked upwards towards the speaker.

“I am a warrior of the Dong-Myung Clan! Will you listen to my words?” his voice rang out with authority.

“Yes!” Everyone responded almost at the same time. The sound seemed to come from a single source, not from a collection of individual voices.

“This is the end of the hunt today. But, as we’ve been through tonight, there will be many unexpected things happening on this hunt. Therefore, everyone here should remain vigilant. This is the end of today’s hunt. From now on, choose a leader for each group. I’ll tell you what you need to do here through your chosen leaders. First of all, we must tend to the injured quickly…”

The square was cleared up to some extent, and they were progressing into the organization phase, such as organizing the spoils and tending to the wounded.

The peoples’ expressions were bright as they constantly recalled the successful hunt. They could now feast late into the night with the game they had caught. True to them being wild hunters, alcohol and meat were passed around in abundance.

Although many of their colleagues had been lost throughout the day, they all understood that any hunt brought losses, so they had their own way of coping with death.

San and Biyeon were sitting on a large boulder, away from the commotion. They lightly smiled as they watched Dongye busily take command.

In front, quite far away from the two, one could see the backs of the specially commissioned support staff taking a break. The support staff were lined up in a row and faced the bonfire. They were taking a well-deserved break, having fulfilled their duty during the day.

However, the Dong-Myung warriors were moving with steam coming off the tops of their heads and with their lips half-protruding out…

The specially commissioned support staff were very tired. However, they felt strong. With a slightly more experienced ‘we’ve gone through this already’ aura around them, they took a sweet break in front of the bonfire.

Before the tension was fully relieved after the battle, their captains had picked apart what they did incorrectly during the battland how to improve themselves in the future. In particular, the company commanders, Yuren and Yeria, were scolded to the point of tears. After the battle was over, they were lectured on how dangerous it was to free themselves from tension.

“Captain Dongye. He’s definitely a veteran. Very seasoned.”

“It's a good thing that we have such a capable person.”

That person we left in the forest…

“Who do you think it was?”

Probably someone who has something to do with the goddess of hunting, right?”

“Then, do you think there’ll be a second attack?”

“Well, I wouldn't do that if I were them,” he responded vaguely.

“Do you think we’ve been… exposed?”

Biyeon’s expression became a little darker.

‘?’

Biyeon suddenly felt the back of her hand becoming warm. She raised her head and looked at San. He was looking up at the sky with his thick gloves on the back of her hand.

A round moon floated beyond the bonfire in the reddish-black sky. A half-broken crescent moon slowly crawled past the night sky, much closer to them than the moon on Earth, as if proof that it was a different world’s sky.

[Hey, don’t act so shocked… are you scared?]

The man’s playful intentions echoed in her mind.

[A little… I’m tired. I’m exhausted.]

Biyeon swept her short hair back and responded with a complaint. He laughed, but the laughter was forced and bleak as if wringing out water from a rag.

His face visibly darkened. He knew that it would be tough times ahead. Even in this relatively comfortable civilization, they had to live in a constant state of anxiety once again. Constant vigilance and a sense of crisis were a harsh and unfair reality.

[Would you like some alcohol…] 

[That’ll probably help…]

Biyeon felt his hand falling off the back of her hand. The back of her hand felt empty. She felt a sense of loss. Her eyes were still thinly open, getting wet like dew at night. She kept looking forward.

‘?’

Suddenly, she turned her head. San’s warm hand, with his gloves off now, touched her right cheek. He raised her face. In their hazy gazes, each other’s faces suddenly appeared larger. With eyes wide open, she found his eyes. It was a small search.

Suddenly, her heart beat violently. The world went crazy fast.

Her energy, which was drained from exhaustion and fatigue just a moment ago, exploded with energy, circulating quickly throughout her body. The dark, gray world was suddenly painted in fascinating colors. Before long, she felt a light breath tingle her nose. It was a heavy coffee scent…

Biyeon closed her eyes. Her small mouth opened slightly…

Episode 2. Book 1: Exploration – Chapter 19

Biyeon opened her eyes. It was dazzling in this world, even at night. After blinking her eyes several times, she finally got her eyesight focused. She placed a finger on her lips.

It felt moist, soft, and warm to the touch. What just happened?

She suddenly turned her head. ‘He’ was still there. She was lying on his arm pillow while he was looking up at the night sky.

His gaze seemed to be pointing somewhere in the sky. However, his sight didn’t seem to be focused on anything particular. It seems as if he was deeply submerged in thought. He exuded confidence in her eyes, as always.

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