Chapter 576: The madness within the darkness (2)

Park Jin Tae said something after looking at Cale's expression.

“…Damn, what a vicious expression.”
“Hmm.”

Flinch.

Park Jin Tae turned his head after hearing a voice behind him.

The Dark Tiger smiled after making eye contact with Park Jin Tae.

‘Damn it. So damn vicious.’

A monster like that smiling just made it look scarier.

Park Jin Tae frowned and shut up.

It was at that moment.

“Over here.”

Cale stopped walking.

Park Jin Tae raised his head.

It was the same as every other night.

Even with all the neon signs that had lighted up Korea at night time having disappeared, even as people were getting tired from surviving in this world that was full of monsters…

The stars appeared in the night sky every night.

He could see a building thanks to the light from the stars.

“Are we starting over here?”

Cale turned his head after hearing a gentle voice.

Joo Ho-Shik walked over to him.

Park Jin Tae started to frown again after looking at him.

‘My goodness. His fashion sense is quite amazing.’

He was wearing a white shirt, white pants, and white shoes.

They were all decorated with the blood of monsters.

‘Crazy bastard.’

This guy was a crazy bastard for a different reason than Kim Rok Soo.

“Yes, sir. We are starting here.”
“Hmm. I see.”

Joo Ho-Shik looked up at the building and calmly continued to speak.

“I see that this is the starting point of faith.”

Park Jin Tae started to frown.

“That’s right. It is the start of faith.”

He frowned even more after hearing Cale calmly responding back.

Joo Ho-Shik quietly observed Cale for a bit before starting to speak again.

“…Do you know about faith?”

Cale didn't even look at Joo Ho-Shik and responded as he motioned to Che Soo Jung.

“Is there much to faith? All you need is to have faith in yourself.”

Joo Ho-Shik's eyes immediately clouded over.

He then gently smiled.

“The mind of someone with the great power of foresight is truly different. I wish to learn about such a faith as we-”
“Hey, mister. You're being too loud.”

A stoic Che Soo Jung moved in between Joo Ho-Shik and Cale.

There was a jigae that was wider than her on her back. [1]

She would not let anybody touch her jigae.

“Too loud, faith is an amazing-”
“Sorry, I have no desire to hear about a cult.”

Che Soo Jung easily ignored Joo Ho-Shik and looked toward Cale.

Click.

Cale was activating the walkie-talkie.

Paat.

The walkie-talkie was soon covered by a bright light and… Cale started to speak.

“We’ve arrived at the starting point for the operation. I will now explain the operation one last time.”

Everybody quietly focused on what Cale had to say.

The start of the operation was simple.

It revolved around a single question.

‘While the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters are running wild at night… Where are the Grade 1 monsters?’

The Grade 1 monsters would attack tomorrow as the final hurdle for humans to overcome.

‘Where would those bastards be during the night?’

The answer to that question was officially documented in the future.

< While the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters attacked the central shelters in a state of madness, the Grade 1 monsters were all waiting and relaxing at a set distance. >
< They were all gathered together in one spot. >
< They quietly waited for their turns without hunting any humans. >

That was the reason that on this night when the central shelters lost their powers… The people who escaped from the central shelters and hid throughout the city were able to survive.

“Current location. In between the Grade 1 monsters and the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters by Park Jin Tae's central shelter.”

And using that fact as the foundation…

“Starting from this location…”

In this spot that was in between the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters attacking the central shelters and the Grade 1 monsters who were quietly waiting together to hunt tomorrow… In between these two groups…

“We will commence Operation Rat in a Jar.”

He would put an end to both sides.

Buzz.

Cale moved his mouth away from the walkie-talkie and walked into a building.

24 hours.

That was how long they had to last until the new central shelter appeared.

“It’s too long.”

There were basic needs.

People needed time to eat, sleep, and relax.

“Hyung-nim. See you later.”
“Sure thing, my dongsaeng.”

Cale said goodbye to Alberu and the Dark Tiger disappeared into the darkness.

The remaining four people went up to the building’s roof.

The people following behind Cale looked toward where he was pointing.

First, they saw the shelter where Park Jin Tae was the leader.

The shelter that was located nearby was bright.

It was because there was a fire on the roof.

Cale had asked them to maintain this fire.

That was why he could see well right now.

He could see the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters attacking the shelter.

“There’s so many of them it's disgusting.”

As everybody quietly agreed with Park Jin Tae's mumbling…

“Let's get started.”

Cale pointed toward the sky.

The gun in Park Jin Tae's hand pointed toward the sky.

“Fire.”

Park Jin Tae pulled the trigger as soon as Cale gave the command.


Baaaaang!

Kim Min Joon, who was on top of the roof of the shelter, could see fire shooting up into the sky in the distance.

Lee Seung Won who was next to him started to shout.

“We’re starting!”

Buzz.

Kim Min Joon's walkie-talkie started to glow.

He opened his mouth to speak.

“Can you hear me?”

  • We can hear you.
  • I can hear you as well.

He heard Bae Cheol-Ho and Grandma Kim's nervous voices.

Kim Min Joon looked forward after confirming that the connections were still stable.

His hands were starting to get sweaty. His forehead was starting to get sweaty from nervousness as well.

‘…Can we really do it? To even consider a counterattack… Are we really going to launch a counterattack?’

Kim Min Joon had many questions on his mind, but he didn't doubt it.

And not long after the fire in the distance shot up in the air…

“Roooooooooar!”

He heard a vicious roar.

The owner of that roar easily jumped over the monsters that were retreating from feeling instinctual fears and stood next to someone.

Choi Han started to speak to the Dark Tiger standing next to him.

“You're here.”
“Yeah.”

Kim Min Joon shouted the moment the Dark Tiger appeared.

“Please get started!”

Bae Cheol-Ho at the second central shelter immediately shouted toward the Steel Feather Hawk.

“Now!”

Grandma Kim at the third shelter shouted toward the White Rabbit.

“Now!”

The Steel Feather Hawk landed in front of the building.

The large White Rabbit moved to the front of the building entrance and stood in front of Jang Man Soo's shield.

Alberu stood in front of Choi Han.

Alberu and the two leader Grade 1 monsters standing in front of their respective central shelters all recalled what Cale had said earlier.

‘Even if the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters are crazy from the madness… They will still have an instinctual fear toward the leaders of the taster monsters.’

Some would feel it more than the others.

‘Please go easy on them at first.’

The Steel Feather Hawk and White Rabbit were not regular Grade 1 monsters.

Unlike the Grade 1 taster monsters that would appear between the Grade 2 monsters and the Grade 1 monsters, they were 1.5 times stronger than the Grade 1 monsters.

Furthermore, they were recorded as 'special’ existences as they were capable of communication.

Even if Cale's hypothesis in the future about their being able to control the other monsters was wrong… These leaders of the taster monsters were sources of fear for the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters.

That was why it was easy for these leader monsters to handle two or three Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters at once, even if they had gone crazy.

They had gone easy on them at the start as Cale had asked.

‘But once I give the signal…’

The Steel Feather Hawk’s feathers started to stick up like needles.

The White Rabbit's red eyes started to glow before its white fur started to turn stiff like thorns.

What Cale had told them was…

‘Please awaken the instinctual fear inside them.’

The leader monsters started to reveal their strength to the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters without holding back.

“Screeeeeeeech---!”

The Steel Feather Hawk's sharp screech that was completely different from earlier rumbled through the night.

It was the same for the White Rabbit.

Their loud shouts made the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters flinch.

They could not overcome their instincts even while in states of madness.

"Are you not going to do it, sir?”
"Fine, I’ll do it. Sigh.”

The monsters felt the same fear from the Dark Tiger's roar.

“Grrrr, grrrr.”
“Whimper.”
“Whimper.”

Step. Step.

The Grade 2 to Grade 3 monsters… Especially the Grade 3 monsters started to retreat backward.

The wild monsters trying to kill the humans had to curl up in fear at the existence of even stronger wild monsters.

These stronger monsters did not let their prey get away.

“Die!”

Hundreds of sharp feathers shot out from the Steel Feather Hawk’s wings and attacked the monsters.

“Rooooooooar!”
“Roooooooooar!!”

It was the same for the White Rabbit.

“Roooooooooar!!” “Roooooooooar!!”
"What wonderful noises to hear.”

Boom!

The corpses of the monsters that were destroyed by the White Rabbit’s two feet fell to the ground.

“Whimper.”

The remaining monsters started to retreat even more.

As they could not think rationally in this state of madness…

These monsters were unable to feel the number of allies on their side.

All they could feel was their instinctual fear of the leader monsters.

One Grade 3 monster slowly stepped back before turning around and starting to run.

“Khahahaha! Yes, run away! Otherwise, I will kill you! Screeeech-!”

The Steel Feather Hawk laughed before launching another loud screech that would fill their minds with fear.

That was the beginning.

The Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters slowly started to run away one by one.

The same thing was happening in all three locations.

“Ha, haha-”

Bae Cheol-Ho laughed in disbelief as he watched.

“I guess those bastards know how to run away as well.”

Even if the leader of the taster monsters were strong, these Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters were running away out of instinct without realizing their numbers advantage.

The number of monsters running away slowly started to increase.

These bastards who had been trying to kill as many people as possible until just a moment ago running away made all the humans watch in disbelief.

“…Surviving this night was this easy by having the leader monsters by our side.”

That fact was making him feel despondent.

He heard Jae Ha-Jung's voice at that moment.

“Hyung-nim. It might have felt easy because we knew what we had to do, but…”

Jae Ha-Jung had a similar thought for a moment as well, but he had a different thought first.

Bae Cheol-Ho turned toward Jae Ha-Jung.

Jae Ha-Jung was shocked at something else.

“I don’t think it is easy to turn those leader monsters into ‘allies’?”

The leader monsters did not keep trying to communicate with the humans.

Only one person was an exception.

“Furthermore, wasn’t all of this only possible because we knew the monsters’ traits and battle styles?”

No matter how many times Jae Ha-Jung thought about it…

“…It would have been impossible if we didn’t know everything like we did.”

It was impossible to do this unless they knew everything that would happen as if it was recorded somewhere.

Who in their right mind would think about drawing the leader monsters to their side?

Who would have known about the monsters’ specific traits?

Bae Cheol’s mouth slowly opened again.

It was impossible if they didn’t know these things, but…

“It was possible once we had that information.”

He then started to think about someone.

“The fact that we have someone who knew all that-”

The fact that someone like that appeared at this time…

“Is a miracle.”

That was the only way he could describe it.

Bae Cheol-Ho, Jae Ha-Jung, and the people around them all looked at each other with the same thought on their minds.

“Uncle!”

As the silence was broken by Bae Puh Rum's voice…

Baaaaaang!

Baaaaang!

They heard multiple explosions in the distance.

Bae Cheol-Ho urgently headed toward the window.

He could see fire shooting up from multiple directions.

These were the fires that Kim Rok Soo had mentioned.

However…

“…It seems much stronger than what he told us?”

The fire seemed much bigger than what Kim Rok Soo had explained.

“Uncle, you had that thought too? I wondered about the same thing.”

Bae Cheol-Ho realized that he was not mistaken after hearing Bae Puh Rum's response.

This was something that Cale had not expected as well.

Actually, nobody, including Park Jin Tae and Che Soo Jung, expected this as well.

“…Holy crap!”

Park Jin Tae watched the fire shooting up with a look of disbelief before looking to his side.

Joo Ho-Shik was watching the burning building with a gentle smile on his face.

“The power of faith truly is strong.”
“Ha!”

Park Jin Tae just laughed as he was at a loss for words after hearing that comment.

Park Jin Tae, Che Soo Jung, and Cale had used their fire-related abilities just now.

Joo Ho-Shik's ability was activated as well.

It was a weird power.

Park Jin Tae just felt as if something supported him as he used his ability, making it even more explosive than normal.

“He said…that it would only make it slightly stronger, didn’t he?”

He said it would make something with an explosiveness of 5 turn into 7.

He heard Che Soo Jung's voice at that moment.

“He wasn't wrong. Your ability and my ability were only slightly amplified.”

It had turned an explosiveness of 5 into a 7.

Che Soo Jung clenched a flaming bottle in her hand as she looked toward someone.

“…It was just that one person's ability was significantly amplified.”

Cale looked toward the burning building.

Baaaaang! Baaaaang!

These empty buildings were all starting to explode one by one as they spread the fire.

Cale looked down at his hands.

He then looked toward Joo Ho-Shik.

Cale couldn't even use half of his Fire of Destruction right now.

He couldn't even use that less than half ancient power at max power.

He needed to use his wind and water powers tonight as well.

He had to save for those.

He could not faint.

That was why he just used a small amount of power.

But that power…

“…Three times.”

Was three times stronger than normal.

It was because of Joo Ho-Shik's faith ability.

‘It can affect ancient powers as well? This faith ability can do that?’

Cale looked toward Joo Ho-Shik.

Joo Ho-Shik started to speak.

“Didn’t you say that you would then use your wind ability?”

Cale called forth the wind.

He only used a tiny amount of his power.

But the moment Joo Ho-Shik's hand was pointed at Cale…

Swooooooosh-

The wind was amplified.

Cale sent the wind toward the fire.

The fire followed the direction of the wind and Cale's will to aim for the monsters without spreading elsewhere.

Cale looked toward Joo Ho-Shik.

Joo Ho-Shik started to speak.

“It looks like I can have faith in you.”

He then pointed toward the other buildings.

He was pointing at the buildings they had confirmed were empty, the buildings they would now light on fire.

“Are you not going to do it?”

Cale stood up straight after hearing that question.

He had no way of knowing how Joo Ho-Shik's power was capable of amplifying ancient powers.

However, there was one thing he was certain about.

‘This is beneficial to us.’

It would help them out.

‘I can push forward a little stronger.’

Cale slowly started to modify the plan in order to pressure the enemies more than he originally planned. He might need to fight a little more ferociously, but that was the more certain method now that Joo Ho-Shik was here.

Cale looked toward Che Soo Jung, Park Jin Tae, and Joo Ho-Shik as he started to speak.

“…We will light the paths of the monsters escaping from the three central shelters on fire.”

The important part was this next part.

“However, we will not touch the three locations where the Grade 1 monsters are staying.”

The Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters that have nowhere to run would run to the places with no fire as they ran away in fear of the leader monsters.

Their natural instincts for survival would lead them that way.

And at the end of that path…

“The escaping Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters will end up in the Grade 1 monsters’ resting areas.”

How would the Grade 1 monsters react to the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters not following the plan and running toward them?

Cale calmly continued to speak.

“There’s no need for us to do everything, right?”

Swooooooosh-

The wind coming out of Cale’s hand surrounded the four of them.

"We will also gather the Grade 1 monsters to one spot as well.”

The Grade 1 monsters and the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters that wouldn't be thinking straight in their states of madness…

For that large area that was bound to be full of chaos…

In order to create that area…

“We need to quickly start fires or quickly destroy the buildings.”

The four of them started to move on Cale’s wind.

They were moving through the streets they expected the monsters to use.

Fire destroyed the buildings and blocked the paths of the monsters as the four people flew by.

“…Holy crap! This is really crazy!”

Park Jin Tae couldn’t help but be astonished while looking at the fires.

Che Soo Jung moved past him as they were moving past building after building while being surrounded by a whirlwind and threw a flaming bottle.

Baaaaaang!

It caused another fire.

“Please stop mumbling uselessly and work.”
“Ugh! I'm very good at working too!”

Park Jin Tae pulled the trigger without any hesitation.

Tang!

The fire shooting out of the national shooting representative’s hand burned brighter than usual as it reached its target.

Baaaaang!

Fires continued to shoot up one after another.

The people in the distance could see the fires better as the number started to increase.

The fires were creating a large circle that looked as if they were headed toward the three central shelters.

However, the people at the central shelters knew that that wouldn't be the case.

They knew that these fires would not reach them.

However, the beautiful fires were so clear that it gave them the chills.

Bae Cheol-Ho could not say anything as he watched.

“…Ha, haha-”

All he could do was laugh.

As the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters ran away from the Steel Feather Hawk…

They were met by fires that were starting to look like a tsunami.

The front and the back…

Watching the monsters being surrounded on both sides made Bae Cheol-Ho think about the day that had been so long.

It had felt even longer as he had faced death many times.

Squeeze.

He clenched his fists.

The 24 hours were not up just yet.

“Jae Ha-Jung. Open the door.”
“Yes, Hyung-nim.”

Screeeech.

The door of the central shelter opened.

“Let’s go.”
“Yes, uncle.”

The three central shelters.

Everybody other than a small number of people to protect the buildings all headed outside.

They then heard Kim Min Joon's voice through the walkie-talkie.

  • Attack.

It was now their turn to attack the backs of the escaping enemies.

They were no longer humans trying to dodge monsters and escape.

Just as how it was in the future… Just as how people had acted in Kim Rok Soo's memories…

The humans who had been dodging and hiding from the monsters all charged out of buildings to take back their homes.

And in the vanguard…

“Your highness, please push them a little more.”
“I know. Stop with the nagging. Please.”

It was Choi Han.

As Cale had mentioned before… The person who would fight the most tonight…

The person who had been defending against the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters alone at one of the central shelters would now…

“I'll head over first, your highness.”
“I'll follow you soon.”

He would now go to destroy the resting areas of the Grade 1 monsters.

And along with Cale, until the sun came up…

The two of them would fight without any rest.

‘Choi Han.’
‘Yes, Rok Soo hyung?’
‘After we take these people to the new central shelter… We’re going to go see Choi Jung Soo.’
‘…Is that so?’
‘Yes. Choi Han.’
‘Yes?’
‘Have you considered taking in another student? It’s a punk named Choi Jung Soo. He’s pretty talented with the sword.’

Choi Han started to smile.

Choi Han who quickly ran across the roofs of buildings to get past the escaping monsters could see Cale who was waiting for him.

“You're a bit late.”
“I'm sorry, Rok Soo hyung.”

Cale shrugged his shoulders at Choi Han’s response before looking toward a spot where the fire had not reached.

Although there was no fire there, the light from the fires lit up that area.

“Grrrrrr.”
“Grrr.”

The Grade 1 monsters whose rest was ended not out of their own volition bared their fangs toward Cale and Choi Han.

These monsters that were much stronger than the Grade 2 and Grade 3 monsters were starting to get up one by one.

The shining black aura at the tip of Choi Han's sword looked ready to turn into a black Yong at any moment.

The current surrounding Cale’s body shot up.

“Let’s go.”
“Yes, Rok Soo hyung.”

The two of them landed in front of the Grade 1 monsters together.


1. A jigae is a Korean A-frame carrier.

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