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“I can smell them.”
Says one of the brothers as he sniffs the air.
Jason too concentrates on his sense of smell and nods.
“Definitely. The putrid weed smell is mixed in but a vague human smell is there.”
Jason grinds his teeth.
“Let’s go. And kill them all.”
“We should still be careful.”
“They have that strange weapon.”
“I already know!”
The Jason brothers begin to carefully approach the place where the humans have stalled.
They quiet their breaths and approach without a sound.
As they get closer, the body odor of the humans gets stronger.
They finally succeed in getting close enough to the humans to check them out with their eyes.
One male human is visible.
Perhaps he is on sentry duty because he is sitting in place. The others are hard to see but it looks like they are laying down, asleep.
The brothers look to Jason. They’re looking as if to ask, what now.
‘There is only one that is awake.’
The male human that is awake is not holding on to any weapon.
At that level, it is a good chance to just fight. Actually, it would be an overwhelming victory.
This is the golden opportunity to kill all the humans that Helgi couldn’t do anything about and ran from. Jason is not one to lose on such an opportunity.
‘How dare they tricked me! Mere humans!’
Jason raises his claws sharply.
The brothers follow suit and change into fighting stance. With a fight imminent, a wild bloodthirst begins to ebb.
Finally, Jason attacks.
The first to target is of course, the awake sentry, the visible human male.
He goes in right away and slashes around his claws. It would only be a moment to slit one male humans throat.
But the male human, as if he had been waiting, moves his body to the right, avoiding the attack. All the more, as the human escapes by rolling on the ground, he kicks Jason’s leg and makes him lose his balance.
At an unexpected counterattack, the careless Jason stumbles.
The brothers that came out at the same time and attacked, had no effect in startling the man.
‘Something is wrong!’
An uneasy feeling passes Jason’s mind. Then…
As I give my order, Sylph pulls the trigger.
At the same time a spark appears at the end of the Mosin-Nagant, a ‘Ggaeng!’ sounding scream spreads.
Sylph pulls the bolt back and forth and gets rid of the cartridge. Then she pulls the trigger, all of this was done incredibly swiftly.
Every time the sound of the shot goes off, a lycanthrope falls.
Sylph is like a machine, sending continuous shots with repetitive motions.
If I had been the one holding this gun, I would not be this swift.
The night is dark so only vague silhouettes can be seen, but I can tell the lycanthropes are incredibly flustered.
It’s the first time hearing a lycanthropes voice.
‘They really talk like humans!’
I’m shocked that they speak like humans with the face of an animal, and I’m shocked again that we can understand them.
It’s a language I hear for the first time, yet I am able to understand it.
“Hyung, the bastards are running away!”
At Joon-ho’s yell, I get my head together.
Having all been shot dead in mere moments, there are only three lycanthropes left, and they begin to run away.
As they do so, Kang Chun-seong, who had been only defending amongst the center of lycanthropes, moves deliberately.
He deftly lands a low kick to a lycanthrope, toppling it.
The fallen lycanthrope yells out as he aimlessly flails his claws about in resistance.
Kang Chun-seong completely avoids the fierce attack, using the opening to precisely land a slap.
With a critical blow to the chest, the lycanthrope lets out a pained moan. Shocked at his pain, the lycanthrope lets out a sound like a beast and haphazardly slashes with his claws. It looks like it will only take a second to turn Kang Chun-seong into rags.
But Kang Chun-seong is cool-headed.
He doesn’t back off but stands firm. He smoothly swishes both arms and turns the lycanthrope resistance into nothing.
He then digs in again and lands another blow to the chest!
Without restraint he continues to pound.
With screams, the lycanthrope begins to vomit blood.
‘Good. Now there’s only two left.’
I hand over a five bullet clip to Sylph and make an order.
“Sylph, chase them down and shoot them all.”
Sylph holds the Mosin-Nagant and flies away like the wind.
Jason is stricken in fear.
He can’t understand it.
Tang, every time that piercing noise spread out, a brother’s head blew up.
He has never seen the respectable lycanthropes of the silver clan die in such futility.
‘It was real! This is why Helgi had no choice but to flee!’
To think that he too might have died in such futility, a terror sweeps over him.
There is only one brother left.
Once again the resounding hair-ringing sound.
Jason doesn’t look back, and runs. He keeps running, panting, and he realized that no one was around him.
The younger sibling that he was fleeing with was not there.
The only one left was Jason.
‘I want to live! I have to live!’
A million thoughts pass through his head. All the desires he sought in life, all became useless.
Jason realizes the sweetest desire is just the hope of survival.
He should have realized the danger after seeing the Helgi brothers’ defeat. He shouldn’t have been careless because humans are like mere prey.
He fell for a transparent trick and was completely had and because of it, in his rage, he rushed into the situation and it was a mistake. He shouldn’t have done so.
But now, the time to regret had already passed.
A dead sound and shock is felt in his head, and with it, Jason’s vision went pitch dark like the depths of hell.
Kang Chun-seong lands a final blow to the lycanthrope’s head.
With the terrifying sound of a skull getting crushed, the lycanthrope fell over like a puppet with its strings cut.
At the same time, Sylph returned. With two cute front paws, holding the Mosin-Nagant that is much larger than herself, she stares at me with round eyes. It’s as if her expression is asking me if she did well.
“You did good, Sylph.”
I pet Sylph’s head. Sylph rubs her head in my palm and licks it.
The fight is over and I start off by gathering the lycanthrope corpses into one spot.
“Let’s look for majeong.”
At my words, Joon-ho and Hye-su make a shocked expression.
“That, um, we have to search the bodies, right?”
At Joon-ho’s question, I nod my head.
“I think so.”
Joon-ho can’t fathom it.
That’s completely understandable. Even though we have been made examinees and gotten used to rough things, we haven’t gotten so used to it to dig through corpses.
Contrarily, Hye-su speaks up.
“Oppa, I’ll do it.”
“Yeah, leave it to me.”
Hye-su summons her sword.
Then she approaches the lycanthrope corpses.
Shot by a gun so their heads so that their heads have exploded, the image of their dead bodies is extremely grotesque. Hye-su summons up her courage and stabs a lycanthrope with her sword.
Joon-ho, who was watching, flinches.
With a shaking hand, Hye-su makes an accurate incision along the lycanthrope’s abdomen.
And into the incised space where blood is spilling out, she puts in her hand.
Seeing this, I can feel it. How hard Hye-su is working to become stronger. Volunteering herself for nasty work is proof of that.
“Hyung, I’ll do it too. Weapon!”
Joon-ho too summons his javelin and starts to dissect another lycanthrope.
“Oppa, I found it!”
Hye-su finds it first, and shows me a round marble looking thing, wet in blood.
A round marble with a yellow color.
This is the majeong they said that all living things in Arena carry within their bodies.
Cha Ji-hye had shown us a sample of majeong in the research center, and this one is a bit smaller than that sample, but I have no doubt about it.
“I found it too, Hyung! It was near its belly button.”
Joon-ho too shows me the majeong he has found.
“Okay, now leave it to me.”
I use Sylph.
Sylph uses the knife wind to simply extract the majeong.
We gather seven majeong and decide to store it in Hye-su’s item bag. There isn’t sufficient space so I take out the bullets and shove them into my pockets.
“Hyung, if we sell these to the research center, how much do you think we’ll get for them?”
“I don’t know. Anyway, let’s move. We have to hurry. Other lycanthropes will have heard the shooting sounds.”
We being walking again.
In the middle of Gangnam, Seoul, there is a towering building.
This skyscraper has two words, Jin Seong, largely written into it, and this building is headquarters for this Jin Seong Group.
At its top floor, an aged man, in his early 70’s, is sitting and looking down at the city view from out his window.
He looks down at the city buildings that appear tiny like toys, and this elderly man’s gaze is a look of lonely remorse.
A middle-aged man’s voice can be heard from behind, calling the elderly man.
Chairman of The Jin Seong Group, born as the son of a poor farmer who holds the Republic of Korea’s biggest wealth and honor, Chairman Park Jin-Seong, turns around.
Chairman Park Jin-Seong asks.
“Have you found out about it?”
“Yes, through a personal connection within the research center, I have found it.”
“Show it to me.”
The middle aged man with a thin and sharp impression, spreads out a stack of photos onto the desk.
The background is an army heliport.
It’s a photo of four young men and women getting into a helicopter.
It was taken secretly with a poor camera on a smartphone by a troop affiliated executive.
There are photos of the four peoples’ faces precisely focused in.
The middle-aged man then proceeds to show the files with their profiles.
“They are newly recruited examinees at the research center, known as the Kim Hyun-ho team.”
“Which one is Kim Hyun-ho?”
“This young man.”
The middle-aged man presents the photo of Kim Hyun-ho closer to Chairman Park Jin-seong.
“This fellow is the leader?”
“What kind of lad is he?”
“They say he is composed and a good decision maker. More so, he has a very special main skill.”
“I do not know. I said I could offer more money but the source refused, saying it’s impossible to say more.”
“And the others?”
“This examinee, Kang Chun-seong, is worth noting.”
He presents the photo of Kang Chun-seong and continues his explanation.
“His skills are average, but he is extremely capable, a martial artist from China. I was told he is on his 3rd turn but has the skills to surpass a 6th turn examinee.”
“Huh, is that so?”
“Yes, it doesn’t seem to be an exaggeration.”
Chairman Park Jin-seong looks at the photo of Kang Chun-seong, and then looks again at the photo of Kim Hyun-ho.
“This fellow, Kim Hyun-ho, what did he originally do?”
“Age is 29. After graduating college, he didn’t have a particular job record, and was in the middle of preparing for the civil servant exam when he suddenly quit it all and moved back to where his family lives in Cheonan.”
“Tsk tsk, how is it he never got to live a proper life before dying and suffering such hardships as this.”
Chairman Park Jin-seong clicks his tongue, as if to portray his compassion, as he stares at the photo.
It is a plain face, but warm. Like his first son’s young days.
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