Jung Minji walked at a quick pace. A meeting with the allied forces was held that night.
“… Your motive is good… but do we have the time?”
The one who replied was the one who led the Alliance of Comrades in Arms, General Cha Taeshik.
No one else said anything but they all had the same thought. No one could say, “I don’t care if those children die or not.”
However, there were still 7 portals left. 55,000 monsters poured in every day. Even though they went on an expedition every day, the number of monsters were slowly approaching the number of humans. At this rate, they may not be able to reduce the portals to less than five by the final day.
It was because the locations of the portals weren’t specified. Even though Lee Jinhee heroically went out for reconnaissance, there were days when she couldn’t find a single one. Also, perhaps it was because he wasn’t in immediate danger but Baek Seoin couldn’t locate the portals with his Intuition.
If there were 5 portals remaining on the final day, there would be almost 100,000 monsters pouring in.
However, if monsters appeared by the ‘masses’, they couldn’t even imagine how difficult of a fight it would be. Also, that word was vague. Masses. Just how many were there it to be called masses?
As leaders of their respective groups, they couldn’t help but become passive facing these conditions.
Jung Minji said.
“… This might not be the end.”
At those words, everyone directed their gazes at Jung Minji.
“The fact that the police and the military have disappeared, everyone is aware of this, correct?”
That was right. Right after the game started, for some reason, the reserve force and the police stations were empty.
“Do you remember the fact that games vary depending on their target? Then the police and the military. What kind of game would they have to play? Where are these people who seem to have evaporated from Kangdong District?”
The mood turned solemn at Jung Minji’s words. It was already the 24th day. While living with their lives on the line every day, they didn’t have the time to look at things in a broader perspective.
A new, but obvious, question came across their minds.
‘What was it like outside of Kangdong District?’
“Everyone should know how the guardian Bae Jinman awakened as a guardian.”
At Jung Minji’s words, everyone’s gazes turned to Bae Jinman. He had his eyes closed, deep in thought.
“What we learned from this was that these games are much more complicated than we initially thought. At first glance, it might seem like we only need to kill and survive but that is not everything. It’s the same with the issue regarding children. Why did they give them a separate rule and make them live in hiding? Why is it that they are able to send rescue signals on the final day? Are these children really discardable?”
Jung Minji made a slight pause before continuing.
“If the guardian disregarded the patients like other doctors and if because of this, we didn’t have a healer in Kangdong District, do you think we would have been able to retaliate against the monsters as united as we are now? Like I said before. There is a high chance that it won’t end with us just escaping Kangdong District. In fact, couldn’t these children actually be a key to survival?”
“We have to save the children. Not simply to survive this place but they will definitely be useful in the long run. Getting out of Kangdong District isn’t everything.”
However, they weren’t able to decide so easily. The cause became more resolute but it wasn’t concrete enough. It could be but wasn’t there also a chance it wasn’t?
This time, Jung Minji called out to specific people.
“Leader Kang Dongsoo. Aren’t there a lot of parents under your command who have lost their children?”
“I also heard that the whereabouts of Leader Seon Jisoo is also unknown.”
There weren’t many survivors who worked and lived in Kangdong District with children less than 14 years old. As there was an increase of dual-income families and younger couples who worked away from home, a lot of the parents were outside of Kangdong District.
However, that didn’t mean that they could ignore the number of parents in Kangdong District who hoped to find their children. As there was no way, they gave up and fell into despair, living in a world without their children.
Jung Minji provided specific motives to them with her comments. Of course, she had some bait prepared for General Cha Taeshik of the Alliance of Comrades in Arms who had an aloof expression and the Knight Captain of the Korean National Sport University, Ryu Hyunsung, who was deep in thought.
For this, Jung Minji had to take a loss. She bit her lips and decisively announced.
“And my troops will spearhead the operation.”
The heads of these leaders instinctively raised. They looked at Jung Minji with surprised expressions. She had just volunteered for the most dangerous mission.
“And I will not forget the people who help me.”
As soon as she said that, the guardian Bae Jinman opened his eyes and stood up. He nodded his head.
“I will stand next to you. I, too, will not forget those who help us.”
Choi Hyuk raised his hand.
Jung Minji was known, even among the allied forces, to be domineering. With one move, she had gained the support of the strongest fighting power, Choi Hyuk, and the only healer, the greatly influential Bae Jinman.
These two had lowered their heads. (Of course, Choi Hyuk was different.) And she declared she would take the most dangerous role. They calculated. They wouldn’t take any losses from helping them. It was also for a good cause.
“Since you are all so determined, of course, I need to partake in this. Wouldn’t this also be patriotism? Huhuhu!”
“I am ashamed. We will go with you.”
Starting with General Cha Taeshik and the Knight Captain Ryu Hyunsung, everyone declared they would participate in rescuing the children.
‘Like expected, it was good to persuade Jung Minji.’
Baek Seoin who stood behind Choi Hyuk exclaimed to himself. Choi Hyuk turned around to look at Baek Seoin and nodded once.
Afterwards, another discussion ensued.
“But isn’t there another issue? The 1-person escape code.”
This problem was a headache to the leaders who had gathered here. Since, in the perspective of these leaders, it was better for their groups to remain as they are than disperse. There also weren’t many 1-person escape codes either.
“It’s a problem. However, there isn’t a suitable method to handle it. There is no way to know who obtained an escape code… it seems like the only way is to brand those who use the escape code as traitors.”
Everyone nodded their heads at Leader Kang Dongsoo’s words.
“Still, it looks like a sense of camaraderie is forming.”
They fought together and had always won. And they couldn’t ignore the impact of Bae Jinman’s blessings that were akin to large concerts. They had no choice but to use this to crackdown down on traitors.
“Okay. Everyone, make sure to do a roll call every day as well.”
Everyone agreed to General Cha Taeshik’s suggestion.
That was the conclusion of important discussions. While the situation was becoming slightly disorderly, General Cha Taeshik asked Choi Hyuk.
“But what do we do about the Wyvern of Destruction? The King without Subjects was supposed to handle it but if we try to rescue others as well, it will take a lot of time. Is it possible to keep it up for that long? Though we will try to clear out as many monsters as we can…”
Baek Seoin replied in Choi Hyuk’s place.
“There’s no problem! If there’s a chance, we’re planning on just killing it. Isn’t that right, leader?”
Choi Hyuk gave a short nod.
“Wahaha! As expected, the young are spirited!”
He laughed loudly, throwing his head back.
No one believed that Baek Seoin’s words were the truth.
The next day. The results of the meeting were announced. The forces under Jung Minji’s command caused an uproar.
“No, why did you decide that all by yourself?”
The Pig King Ma Dongshik protested to Jung Minji.
“In the very least, aren’t you supposed to tell us beforehand?”
Ma Dongshik’s face had turned red. He was someone who cared about his safety to the point of even criticizing Lee Jinhee for attacking a shadow teeth. As someone like that, he was unable to take this situation.
However, Jung Minji’s expression did not change.
“I am sorry I was unable to tell you in advance. However, this is something we must do.”
“So why are you deciding this all by yourself? Good. Okay. Let’s let the issue about rescuing children slide. Since I’m also an adult. But to be the spearhead? You mean just the troops under the Crazy Knight King, right? We aren’t going to do it.”
Jung Minji shook her head.
“Of course, Leader Ma Dongshik’s forces are included. It’s including all six forces that are with me.”
A heavy silence. The other leaders who followed Ma Dongshik showed flustered faces.
“No, why? Why do you decide our lives all by yourself?”
Ma Dongshik was angry to the point of being unable to suppress it any longer. He felt this was irrational.
Jung Minji’s eyes turned cold.
She didn’t look back. This would be the last time she would grab hold of them. Even if their solidarity broke apart, she had to make them go on this mission.
“That’s right. However, everyone here owes me a life debt.”
Jung Minji stared at each and every king gathered here.
“Pig King Ma Dongshik. Do you think you would have been able to block the invasion of shadow teeths without my intervention? Do you remember the 400 shadow teeths that were hiding near your assembly area while you sacrificed three people every night?”
Ma Dongshik momentarily flinched.
“It’s the same for all of you. My followers have always fought on the frontlines. And there’s no one here who hasn’t benefited from this. Do you think, without me, you would be able to join Hyunhae Department Store? And now you guys want out?”
Jung Minji’s eyes were like those of a crazy bitch. These people who knew that she would indiscriminate purge the opposition when she was like this quickly avoided her eyes. It was the same for the agitated Ma Dongshik. It was like cold water had poured on him. ‘I went too far after becoming agitated.’ He regretted as he trembled while tucking his hands.
However, there was a single person who did not avoid her stare. The Slave King Song Simin. He, instead, was smiling brightly.
“Ahh… though it’s a bit suffocating… I actively support you. Even though we’re the spearhead, with the support of the Weakening Barrier and the support of the other troops at the back, we shouldn’t have too many casualties. Above all, it’s an honorable deed.”
Jung Minji’s yes man. It was definitely something he would say.
Jung Minji slightly nodded towards Song Simin before getting up. Then she lowered her head.
“Once again… I apologize. This will not happen again after this mission. We are going to dissolve our alliance and with an indebted heart, I promise I will wholeheartedly cooperate with you at least once.”
An uncomfortable silence.
After creating an atmosphere that felt like she would kill anyone who opposed her, she suddenly asked for a favor. Though they were taken back, they couldn’t show it. Shame, their hurt pride, fear, worries about the future, absurdity. With a mixture of these emotions, the kings under Jung Minji’s command were unable to say a word.
They had no choice but to do what the strong ordered them to do.
The kings exited the meeting room with stiff faces. It wasn’t acceptance but submission. Jung Minji was aware of that.
‘It’s fine. Since this is the last time.’
Even if it was submission, it was fine as long as they moved. As long as she could rescue children with these actions, it helped bring peace to Jung Minji’s heart.
‘Anyways… Look’s like I’ll be able to sleep tonight.’
She had nightmares ever since her talk with Baek Seoin.
After all the other kings had left, the last one to stand was Song Simin. He comforted Jung Minji.
“It’s because everyone was surprised. I will try to talk to them.”
After smiling friendlily, he hurriedly left. Soon after,
“Ah~ Dongshik hyungnim! I was so surprised! Don’t be so stiff and how about we go have a drink?”
The cheeky voice of Song Simin was heard.
The Slave King Song Simin who had accompanied her since Hanyoung High School. He had fully revealed his unique sociability during this time. The size of his troops had increased and he had good relationships with other kings. He was a lubricant-like existence who complemented the cold Jung Minji.
Once even his voice became distant, a stillness overcame the meeting room.
Jung Minji buried her head into the desk.
The 29th day.
There were 4 portals remaining.
A pitch-black night. Everyone was sleeping except those on night watch.
Choi Hyuk stood alone on top of Hyunhae Department Store.
Seoul, a place that used to light up colorfully at night, however, now, no matter where he looked, it was pitch-black. There was no light brighter than the moon. And because the moon was unexpectedly bright, he was able to differentiate the pitch-black darkness and the waves of the Hangang River.
And there was another place that was emitting a faint light. Above Choi Hyuk’s hand.
Woong, woong, woong…
A mysterious symbol that wasn’t engraved on the Predator’s Blade previously was emitting a light.
A blade of karma had wrapped around the entirety of the blade.
It wasn’t the hazy appearance of the past. It maintained a transparent sword appearance while being fluid-like, as it flowed slowly. It was 5 meters long.
Choi Hyuk slowly raised the Predator’s Blade above his head.
He lowered it. Even though he was moving very slowly, the sound of it slicing the air echoed out from the rooftop. And the blade didn’t disappear as it flowed leisurely.
Choi Hyuk smiled.
The preparations to hunt the Wyvern of Destruction were complete.
 Hyungnim is what a younger male would call an older male.