Chapter 4: Star of David (1)
Edited: Myoni, Yoni
Five days have passed.
At this point, there were only 32 survivors left.
After 13 deaths on the first day, one to two people died every day thereafter.
Everyone had become desperate after they learned that they will die if they didn’t fight.
But not everyone was useful.
“Let’s reduce our numbers.”
He, who was consistently ranked 3rd the past few days, spoke up.
He was a man in his mid-late twenties with a shaved head and tattoos all over his body.
His appearance made others feel threatened.
There were a few people around him.
“What do you mean by numbers?”
Among them, a man asked while gulping down his saliva.
Juyoung crossed his arms and said, “There’s not enough food, but there are too many useless bastards.”
Only the top 3 hunters were given food.
Even though it was just crumbly bread under preservation magic, it was the most important supply in this place.
Up until now, Taehwan and Juyoung evenly distributed the bread, but there was a limit to that.
The already small supply of food was distributed among 30 people.
Each person was pretty much living off of half a loaf of bread each day.
A few people in the temple flinched.
After someone had died in agony eating grilled monster meat, no one had put their hands on the monster carcasses.
Bread was their sole salvation, but if Juyoung cut their supply, many people will have no option, but to starve.
In this world, starvation led to death.
Juyoung smiled as he said, “So let’s have the useless bums fight each other or whatever and reduce the numbers.”
Taehwan approached him.
Juyoung snorted at him.
“Don’t try to be a hypocrite. Didn’t we do enough for them already?”
“Our goal is to keep everyone alive.”
“That’s~ Why~ you thick bastard. Let’s get rid of the useless ones. You see that guy with the kid? What can he do when he has no arms? It’ll be good if he could at least serve as a meat shield.”
Taehwan raised his voice.
There was no choice.
It was only a hard decision to make the first time, but afterwards, it would only get easier.
If they started to get rid of the useless people, then there will only be a minority left at the end.
Taehwan was on guard.
If their conscience died and only the self-centered people lived, the surviving group will eventually collapse.
Juyoung picked his ears.
“Bitch, your voice is fucking loud. Even though you’re okay with it, I’m pretty sure most aren’t happy with the current arrangement.”
Juyoung looked away from Taehwan and gazed at the people around them.
Everyone looked quite malnourished as their cheeks started to cave in.
There was a clear distinction between the useful and the useless.
The people who were of some use started to glare at the ones who weren’t as useful.
It wasn’t just one or two days, it seemed like the dissatisfaction piled up during the past few days.
They just couldn’t voice their complaints since the food was only distributed to the top 3 hunters.
It wasn’t like Taehwan was unaware of the situation.
“We have to find a solution. If we start thinking about throwing others away, how are we different from the monsters? We are humans with reason. We need to help each other out.”
“Ha, it’s not like you’re going to drop food when you die. Whatever, if you really want to take care of everyone, do it yourself. From now on, I am going to take care of myself.”
Juyoung shrugged his shoulders.
The food he distributed the past five days was still a considerable amount.
There was no reason for him to stick his neck out for others when it wasn’t his responsibility.
But in Taehwan’s position, this wasn’t pleasant news.
“Juyoung, if you stop… many people are going to starve.”
“So what? It’s hard for me to live too. Or…”
Juyoung brought out a loaf of bread and quickly munched on it while looking at the crowd.
“Let’s have a bartering system. I am not that cold-hearted, you know. If you give me a reasonable payment, I will trade it for bread. Or become someone useful to me. Yeah, I think I can feed up to six people.”
The reason why he decided on a specific number was simple.
He wanted to make his own faction.
In a place like this, power was the law.
There was strength in unity.
Although they were unified, up until now, it was just a public declaration.
It didn’t have the same influence as a faction.
‘So he was waiting for this moment.’
Muyoung was spectating the whole situation from afar.
He was quite the sly fellow.
He deliberately waited five days.
If he was to make this announcement when everyone was starving, there were definitely people who would cling onto him.
To be part of the ‘six people’, he knew they would do all sorts of things to flatter him.
On the other hand, the leftover faction lead by Taehwan wouldn’t have the same unity.
Taehwan tried to accept everyone. It didn’t matter if they had any capabilities.
Of course, the dissatisfaction among the capable will definitely rise and they will start to side with Juyoung’s faction which centered on power.
Like how Juyoung deliberately waited five days before making a statement like this… he was someone who was able to calmly analyze his surroundings and act at the right moment.
While goading Taehwan.
It seemed like he was well-versed in human psychology.
Juyoung was waiting with a completely relaxed attitude.
“How about me?”
Soon after, someone raised their hand.
After getting embarrassed by Muyoung, she decided that this time she would try and join Juyoung.
“You? What can you do? Just because you’re a bit pretty, you think I am going to give you my hard earned food?”
She was flustered as she thought that he would definitely accept her.
But she quickly calmed herself and accentuated her chest.
“I can do various things for you. Anything you can imagine.”
“Anything… you say.”
Juyoung skimmed over her body.
It felt like a snake was slithering around her body, but she endured it.
For the past five days, she took various of steps to survive.
First, she searched for the person who she thought would survive the longest.
That was the reason why she approached Muyoung in the first place.
But it ended as a failure and her next target became Juyoung.
Although he was a cold-hearted good-for-nothing, his skills were quite top-notch.
Taehwan seemed a bit muddled, so it didn’t seem like he would last very long.
‘If I make this man a king, then I can be the queen.’
So she decided to make Juyoung a king.
Once she decided on someone, that person had to become the very best was what Soyoung thought.
Juyoung smacked his lips lasciviously.
“Sure. I will make an exception for you, but for the rest, I will have strict requirements. Ah, you must be hungry, have some food while you wait.”
As soon as Soyoung stood behind Juyoung, he handed her a loaf of bread.
She chomped on the bread and ate it as if it was the most delicious food in the world.
She knew she would lose some face, but she also knew that if she did this, it would tempt more people to join.
Many people gulped down their saliva while they watched her eat.
“Me, me! Will you accept me?”
“If you need to do something that requires strength, you’ll need someone like me!”
“Instead of a guy like him, I’m a much better choice!”
The responses came down like hail.
Like a flood, a crowd of people went over to Juyoung’s side.
Kim Taehwan and Oh Juyoung.
There was a clear distinction between the people who joined each side.
“Juyoung, it’s not good to split into two groups.”
As Taehwan spoke with a firm voice, Juyoung just clicked his tongue.
“Just worry about your future, kay?”
There was no way for him to stop the momentum.
Juyoung started to recruit members and the chosen held their heads up high as if they have been chosen to become nobles.
Ranks were being established.
Taehwan’s ‘save everyone’ policy didn’t appeal to many.
More and more people began to think that it would be better to get rid of the useless ones.
That’s what he needed.
He looked at Muyoung.
Muyoung never lost his 1st place position in the rankings.
He had the most food, yet whenever Taehwan asked him for help, he was ignored.
However, it wasn’t like they could forcefully take it.
Maybe they could if everyone grouped together and fought against him.
But even that was doubtful.
He was the embodiment of a wolf.
But now, Taehwan had no other choice.
If he let this go, Juyoung will definitely take the lead.
Did Muyoung understand Taehwan’s look?
Muyoung suddenly moved towards the center of the stage.
At the same time, the commotion died down and everyone’s gaze fell on him.
It was because he had never stepped out like this before.
After gaining everyone’s attention, he spoke, “I am going to explore the outskirts of the temple. All volunteers will receive two loaves of bread and clean water every day.”
That was the one thought in everyone’s mind.
Why would all these people try to stay in this small temple?
Because if they went even a little bit outside the temple, they would be overwhelmed with monsters!
And he was going to explore that place?
It didn’t make the situation better now that he was handing out bread and water.
Going out there would be no different than suicide. They couldn’t decipher any other meaning besides going out to die.
But, Muyoung continued to wait arrogantly.
It was like it didn’t matter if anyone joined him or not.
No one would volunteer… that’s what most people thought.
“Mister, can’t it be three loaves of bread? For me and my father.”
The first to appear was a little girl.
She looked like she was nine years old. She still had a lot of baby fat on her.
On the other hand, her father was an armless cripple.
He had lost both his arms during the monster attack on the second day.
Death seemed certain for them as soon as they leave the temple.
They wouldn’t be of any help either. It would be considered good if they didn’t hold him back.
But Muyoung’s next words shattered everyone’s expectations.