Episode 2: Exodus / Chapter 24: Berserkers (7)
Baek Seoin and Choi Hyuk’s plans were similar yet different.
Unlike Baek Seoin who only thought to increase their fame, Choi Hyuk was also thinking about ‘reducing the numbers’.
[Supplies will reduce significantly every 10 days.]
Soon, it would be the 10th day.
‘People will kill and be killed anyways.’
Choi Hyuk only thought to that point. To him, the lives of the group of gangsters and people who cooperated with them weren’t anything special.
If Baek Seoin expected to quickly infiltrate and assassinate, Choi Hyuk was expecting an all-out war.
“Hey. Where are your comrades?”
When they saw the KTT building, the steps of the grandpas of the Alliance of Comrades in Arms slowed. They were a bit nervous as they had yet to see their comrades. However, Choi Hyuk didn’t even look back. Instead, Baek Seoin turned around and explained.
“Don’t worry and just spectate from a distance. Don’t go anywhere.”
Then he followed Choi Hyuk while waving his arms. The grandpas who were left behind were dumbfounded. Did that mean that there would be more comrades or not?
The grandpas discussed amongst themselves.
“What do we do?”
“… Don’t tell me… they are young’uns who don’t even value their lives? They didn’t look that way…”
He didn’t care.
Choi Hyuk confidently approached the front of the building. Baek Seoin caught up to him and whispered.
“Are we not going to sneak in?”
Choi Hyuk didn’t say a word as he turned around and looked at him with a dumb expression. As if he was saying, ‘Sneak in? Why would I do that?’ Baek Seoin became slightly uneasy.
“If we just fight them outright, it becomes hard to distinguish between friend or foe.”
“Friend or foe? There are only two of us.”
“No. Not that. It’s not good to just kill people who are forced to cooperate with the gangsters.”
“Cooperators… are they any different from the gangsters?”
At Choi Hyuk’s question, Baek Seoin was at a loss for words.
Choi Hyuk gazed at Baek Seoin’s face and nodded.
“I don’t kill people who aren’t cooperators.”
Baek Seoin closed his mouth.
If they used Choi Hyuk’s method and just pushed forward, civilians wouldn’t know what was happening and would oppose Choi Hyuk. Baek Seoin didn’t think that killing those people was right.
There wasn’t a suitable reply. ‘Were cooperators really without guilt?’
That was a long-time worry of Baek Seoin.
To live, to support their family, were people who cooperated with the Japanese Empire without guilt.
There were businessmen who would sell out their fellow Koreans and send them to coal mines or sell them as comfort women. There were even landowners who offered bribes to the Japanese Empire and overworked their farmers under their protection. Did they have sins? Then what about the people who used their parents’ hard earned money and had no other job except working as a public official of the Japanese Empire?
If there was a difference in limits and it varied on their circumstances, just what standards did he need to have?
‘I did it to live.’ ‘Everyone else does it as well.’ How far could these excuses be used? Then what about the people who couldn’t even do ‘what everyone else was doing’ and starved to death?
A head-aching worry. Baek Seoin would always trouble over this but he could never find an answer.
However, Choi Hyuk was different.
“Baek hyung. I’m telling you this just in case you’ve misunderstood something.”
Choi Hyuk didn’t look back and said.
“What we are doing isn’t kindness. We’re doing it because we need to and because there just so happens to be a group who picked a fight.”
Baek Seoin lowered his head.
‘… I was too soft.’
He inwardly engraved the word ‘revenge’ into his heart once again. As soon as he did so, many things became simpler.
Perseverance. Eating bitter bile and sleeping on rough straws.
That was what revenge was. You weren’t supposed to forget your rage. You had to grow your malice before goodwill.
Those who lowered their heads because they were scared of the gangsters wouldn’t really be of much help when fighting the Wyvern of Destruction.
In a situation where supplies were insufficient and people were fighting amongst each other, it would be difficult to unite everyone. It was better to reduce the numbers when they had the chance.
So… As long as their opposing groups had numbers, they would wipe them out.
More than what they thought.
‘It will be a bloody battle…’
Baek Seoin ground his teeth. His face stiffened and he followed behind Choi Hyuk.
As soon as they approached the KTT building, 5 guards who were lying in ambush jumped out.
Among them, only one wore armor and just by looking at his figure and his hair, it was obvious he was a gangster.
“Why are you here?”
Choi Hyuk replied.
“To hunt gangsters.”
An absurd reply. It was even childish. However, in this situation, being simple was more effective.
As soon as Choi Hyuk spoke, he watched his opponents with his Eyes of Distinction. He read his opponents’ reactions.
‘One red (killing intent), 2 black (ill will) and 1 white (goodwill).’
“What… This f…”
The armor wearing gangster emitted a red light. Just as he was about to spout a four-letter word, his head was sliced off with Choi Hyuk’s blade. Blood spurted out like a geyser.
There was one person who reacted late that attempted to run away.
Another who sporadically swung his sword.
The body of the man, who attempted to attack him, split in two along with his sword.
An escapee blew a whistle. Piiiii! Piiiii! People who were watching this scene through a window inside the building blew their whistles as well.
Choi Hyuk looked at the last remaining person.
The man who looked to be in his thirties was the only person who emitted a white light. Currently, faint traces of black were mixed into the white light. It seemed he was wary of him.
When Choi Hyuk lifted his sword and looked at him, he trembled before asking.
“You… you’re here to hunt gangsters?”
“I want to join!”
Only then did Choi Hyuk finally nod his head.
There were about 1,300 people who chose the KTT building as their assembly area. Among them, 500 were gangsters while 800 were normal people. It seemed like all the gangsters near here had gathered.
Although gangsters had many problems with the law and morals, as they were experienced fighters, they were quite courageous even when fighting monsters. A world where you become stronger as you live. This actually made them more passive.
Not too many days had passed when the gangsters became the king of this place. And then, they revealed their true nature. If there was a woman that caught their eye, they would rape her and they would even beat people to death when they were drunk.
However, they weren’t fools. They didn’t only resort to violence. They treated people who cooperated with them nicely and even gave them chances to get stronger by taking them out for reconnaissance. During this time, they murdered people and even gifted them the women they kidnapped to slowly turn them into ‘accomplices’.
Now, the only normal people left in this assembly area were those who were the same as the gangsters and those who looked the other way and only cared about their own safety. Those who weren’t either died resisting them or risked their lives and went out to find a new assembly area.
Choi Hyuk didn’t know everyone’s circumstances.
And honestly, he didn’t need to know. He was only after numbers anyways.
Choi Hyuk shouted at the gathering people.
“As the gangsters here attempted to kill me, I am just here for payback. Those who aren’t part of this, screw off!”
To the people who ran over here after hearing the guards outside had died couldn’t help but find all this sudden.
A short silence fell.
Some burst into anger while others read the mood.
The ones who were reading the mood looked around to see if Choi Hyuk had any reinforcements. No matter where they looked, they couldn’t find any.
Only then did people react to nonsensical Choi Hyuk’s declaration.
“Is he a crazy bastard?”
“He’s the one who murdered people!”
The jeers and rage of hundreds of people were much more chilling than one would think.
The man in his thirties who Choi Hyuk had saved just now was trembling behind Baek Seoin.
‘Ah damn… for there to be only two people…’
He felt regret. However, he shook his head.
‘Damn it. I can’t do anything about it. Instead of getting killed by these people, I’d rather die fighting these fucking gangsters.’
While the man was at a crossroads, Choi Hyuk grinned before charging forward.
His eyes could see people emitting red lights as bright as the sunset.
“Sav… Save me please!”
It was filled with screams and tears.
The fight that occurred outside the building took 30 minutes and it continued inside the building. Choi Hyuk hunted and killed the people who attempted to run. He even killed those who kneeled and begged for their lives.
Even if they emitted a white light, he killed them.
‘You were quiet when I looked weak but now that I look strong, you beg for your life?’
Although they weren’t hostile, Choi Hyuk was someone who was merciless to his enemies.
‘They won’t be useful in future battles.’
There was only one type of people he saved.
“Ahh! You bas-tard!!”
“What, you fucking bastard!”
One youth gave up on fighting Choi Hyuk. Instead, he stabbed the backs of the gangsters, filled with resent.
The color reflected in his Eyes of Distinction was a pale black. He had a bit of hostility towards Choi Hyuk but it wasn’t excessive.
‘He knows how to fight and he isn’t an enemy.’
Choi Hyuk didn’t kill that youth and moved on.
It was simple to tell who was on his side. Eyes of Distinction and the direction of their swords. The choice to abandon their weapons had already passed by when Choi Hyuk told everyone who wasn’t part of this to leave. Now, the direction you swung your sword determined if you were friend or foe.
Choi Hyuk’s rule that depended on their swords slowly spread.
Of course, there were exceptions.
“Huh… Fuck, why me…”
He was someone who stabbed his comrades to live. After seeing how Choi Hyuk left certain people alive, he stabbed his comrades and felt that he was safe. However, Choi Hyuk clearly saw the red light. He pierced the Flash Sword through his heart.
‘What the? You die even if you kill the gangsters?’
‘Just what is the criteria?’
The people who saw this scene fell into a state of confusion. Choi Hyuk didn’t care to address this confusion.
Even then, there were numerous people who came out and started to stab the gangsters out of their own free will.
Slice! Stab! Stab! Slash!
Choi Hyuk was a death-producing machine. It seemed like he killed a person every second.
Wherever he was, there was a stream of corpses trailing behind him and around him, people started to kill the gangsters.
At that time, Choi Hyuk found the leader. He was abnormally large and above his head was a large axe symbol.
He came down escorted by his bodyguards with a distorted expression and swore.
“This motherfuc… You son of…”
Of course, he wasn’t able to finish his words.
Choi Hyuk made his way towards him as he swung his Fang Saber.
Unlike monsters, humans were thin and long, so if he swung properly, he could even kill multiple people with one swing.
In three slices, the leader, along with his bodyguards, split into two.
As soon as the leader died, the axe symbols around them disappeared.
But, nothing would change. As Choi Hyuk was planning on indiscriminately killing people who were outside the standards he made himself.
He killed and killed. It was to the point the durability of the Fang Saber hit bottom and shattered.
Only when there weren’t any more people to kill did Choi Hyuk raise his head. Blood splattered on the hallways, the stairs and the walls. At some point, a pool of blood had formed in front of the building.
People gathered around Choi Hyuk.
The ones who were still alive were the ones who swung their swords in the other direction. Around 200 people.
Choi Hyuk examined them with his Eyes of Distinction.
They only emitted a mix of white and black light or a pale black light, none possessed red (killing intent) or dark black (hostility). He had already killed those people.
‘Of course, it won’t be precise.’
Choi Hyuk felt his skill was a bit lacking. It was difficult for him to accurately judge if someone would be useful or not during a battle just by knowing what intentions they had towards him. All he had was a hunch that ‘they probably weren’t’.
‘Still, it’s better than nothing.’
Anyways, he was able to make a rule without much difficulty because of it. Who to kill and who to leave alive. Though he did kill most of them, he still had a rule.
Choi Hyuk was currently satisfied with that.
That was how the fight ended. It only took an hour.
“Grandpas. Here, receive your gifts.”
Baek Seoin brought some of the items he placed in his Handy Sack after emptying out the building.
Because of the extremely brutal fight, his previously shameless face had stiffened.
“Uh… Okay… Sure.”
As he received the Handy Sack, the grandpa thanked his sunglasses. If not for them, he might have shown the scared expression on his face.
A one-sided battle, No, a massacre.
Though they were people who had seen this in wars and had even participated in it…
‘No, it’s on a different level.’
The grandpas of the Alliance of Comrades in Arms felt chills go down their backs.
It was a world where everyone had exceeded the limits of a human. A generation where running 100 meters in 8 seconds and long jumping 8-9 meters weren’t brag worthy.
However, these grandpas felt like carrots being diced in a blender. They had seen a true monster.
Just how cute was the nickname, Berserkers, compared to the real thing?
Though they knew they weren’t enemies, they felt pressure just by being near Choi Hyuk. They wanted to leave this place as soon as possible but they felt uneasy and were wary of Choi Hyuk so they just stayed put.
But, it was time for them to return.
The sunglasses wearing grandpa hastily said.
“You worked hard. Then, we’ll take our leave.”
Even his speech become polite.
“Okay, take care. Ah, and -”
Baek Seoin called out to the grandpas who were about to leave. With an overly threatening expression.
“Please discuss when you return.”
It looked like he was trying to smile but perhaps it was due to the stiffness he felt after the battle, the tips of his lips distorted weirdly.
“Ah… I’ll make sure to do that.”
The grandpas broke out in a cold sweat as they hurriedly left.
Not long after a wild rumor spread throughout Kangdong District.
‘The leader of the Berserkers, Choi Hyuk, annihilated an assembly area!’