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Split in Half. Pt.(1/8)
“This again? If you stayed quiet, you could have just played along.”
Seeing the smart mouth lady coming to and fro, Park Don-Gul frowned again but didn’t refuse her. Compared to before, he began speaking with a smoother voice.
“Didn’t you hear what that Agassi just said? We shouldn’t fight amongst ourselves. ”
“Why don’t you think about your own actions before speaking?”
“Well, that’s that. But right now, we are gathered here to share our opinions so why don’t you hear my side first?”
People’s winds were taken out of their sail, as they meekly acknowledged Park Don-Gul. As if thinking he ate something funny, the smart mouth lady’s brows were slightly creased.
“First, I apologise for everything that happened at that clearing. My speech is rough, don’t judge me on it. I am used to speaking like that, but it doesn’t mean I hate you guys.”
Park Don-Gul looked around discretely before lightly stooping his head. While he still faced the disgruntled gaze, it had become slightly softer. Slowly moving to the centre of the party, he sought out the response from everyone. He must have thought the mood was agreeable as Park Don-Gul went straight into the main subject.
“I agree with this bank lady’s words. Yeah. Arguing right now is wrong. Let’s bury our hate for each other and find a way to escape those monsters and live. Whatcha think?”
“…. Then continue.”
“It’s just like I said. I only agree with a part of it, not everything else. But if I go straight to the conclusion, everyone is going to criticise me. So I want everyone to realise the situation for themselves.”
“Which part are you unsatisfied about?”
As Lee Bo-Rim grumbled out her question, Park Don-Gul had a dreary smile as he replied.
“Finding a way to survive is obvious, but this ‘co-operation’ I don’t think so. Cooperate? It sounds nice, but look at the situation and search out your feelings. The only thing I hear is dogs sniffing grass.”
“Just when I thought you were saying something intelligent. Just go. Escape alone and live on your own.”
The smart mouth lady snorted out a laughter, but Park Don-Gul didn’t move an inch. Rather, he gave an assenting look as he nodded his head.
“Obviously, I already thought of that.”
“Just hear me out. To the end, hmm? Hear everything out.”
As An-Hyun gave her a look, the hot-tempered, smart mouth lady close her mouth. Receiving the gaze of everyone, Park Don-Gul continued to speak at a leisurely pace.
“I am ignorant. And crude. But I don’t know how to lie. Because I am simple. At that clearing when I was running for my life, I felt a lot of things and thought a lot of things. After that, cooperating sounds offensive to my ears.”
At Park Don-Gul’s words, everyone shivered as if it reminded them of what happened in the clearing. As if he was waiting for such response, Park Don-Gul’s larynx moved slightly.
“Truthfully, I wasn’t just afraid, I was beyond terrified. While it’s quite embarrassing, my knee went numb and I almost wet myself. Think. Would you stay still when things that you saw only in TV and movies appeared right before your eyes? If that scout guy didn’t act fast, then most of us would be monster chow by now. So I agonised and thought deeply. I am not going to boast or threaten, so don’t misunderstand me. I know a thing or two about knives. Knives or whatever, right now whether it’s human or animals I won’t hesitate in killing them. Why? I don’t want to die. What happened in the clearing was just so sudden. I was really surprised and bewildered but damn it, I want to live. So if it happens again, I am going to use this weapon so I can live.”
Park Don-Gul’s words were long. But, it hadn’t ended yet. Though they were uncertain, the party began to gradually focus on his words. Having already discerned his true nature, I clucked my tongue at this ploy, but for now, I decided to see where it would go. Park Don-Gul was still continuing on, as he pointed them out one by one.
“Others won’t see it, but I can. That thuggish looking brother over there looks like he worked out. He even brought a weapon and defeat some monsters, and…. You over there. If you could act as much as your big mouth, then maybe you could be of some help. The guy holding the crossbow, I don’t even need to say anything about him. And. Those four can definitely help out. What I am saying is that we can establish some kind of cooperation with the lots here. Don’t you agree?”
At Park Don-Gul’s words, An-Sol, Lee Shin-Wu and Lee Bo-Rim’s expression became dark. To simplify what he said, it meant those four were of useless. Soon after, Lee Bo-Rim gathered up her courage and spoke out.
“So you are saying you can’t cooperate with useless people?”
“Woh, woh. Calm down. I haven’t finished yet.”
“Can you do what that guy did or maybe the crossbow guy? Do you think you can grab a knife or a stone and stab those monsters? All I see is a big fat no. Especially you, sticking next to him and squeaking whenever those bastards come out. That woman over there had the decency to keep her mouth shut. At least she didn’t hinder us, at that much, I don’t have anything say.”
The woman Park Don-Gul indicated was the person who just asked me why I was leaving my place. She still maintained her calm but cold exterior.
There was silence before Lee Bo-Rim spoke again with a shaky voice. Compared to before, her voice was quite dead.
“So in conclusion, we are going to abandon people who are useless….”
Lee Bo-Rim seemed unable to get over what was said, and this made me think what kind of person Park Don-Gul was. While I knew where he was leading this too, his current act did open up for deeper introspection. Early on I thought that his head was full of shit, but he had correctly discerned the current situation and spoke logically. Regardless of his ulterior motives.
Seeing the despondent Lee Bo-Rim, Park Don-Gul’s confidence was restored as he showed his yellowish teeth and spoke.
“Why are you jumping ahead. I haven’t spoke of such thing yet. Don’t be so sensitive. The world is give and take. If we are going to cooperate, it just means that you will have to prove your worth. If we head out now with this vague cooperation, what do you think will happen? That thuggish guy will be too busy taking care of his girlfriend, and that kid will be frozen solid that he might drag us down. What I am saying is that I don’t want to cooperate or protect idiots. For me, my life’s the most important. Isn’t it the same with you?
That smart mouth lady didn’t seem to have anything to say, as she only clenched her hand tightly. The bank lady’s face was positively red, and I could see that her hand was clenched tightly in a fist. She was trembling but didn’t say anything. Park Don-Gul leisurely observed the state everyone was in, and he must have felt it was time for the final blow as he spoke with great fluency.
“I am sure everyone feels the same, that their life is the most important. If you acknowledge that, then let’s talk frankly. We can’t cooperate with some people here. Just look at us now, we are flying blind. You there, kid. Don’t you agree?”
Being pointed at, An-Sol looked to Hyun with an embarrassed face as her mouth moved up and down. Seeing her mouth mumbling, it seems she had something to say but words didn’t come out as intended and she bowed her head again. Seeing that, Park Don-Gul lifted his two shoulders in an exaggerated manner as spoke again.
“This guy knows it as well, didn’t he tell the kid to walk on his own? If we did as the crossbow guy said, we wouldn’t have been in such situation. Mhmm? Why are you reacting like that? Am I barking some nonsense again?”
It wasn’t pure nonsense. Regardless of his intentions, Park Don-Gul’s evaluation was correct. The problem was that he threw a fastball at the people who needed help.
“If you think I am wrong, prove yourself. Go downhill and kill one or two of those monsters and drag it right in front of me. I will shut up right then.”
It seems he said everything he needs to have said as Park Don-Gul moved back to his spot. I was curious about everyone’s response. I moved my gaze and slowly observed everyone’s expressions.
An-Hyun seemed deep in thought as he had his eyes closed, An-Sol was trembling lightly next to him. Though the most pitiful amongst them was Lee Bo-Rim and Lee Shin-Wu. They were definitely targeted early on by Park Don-Gul. I could see their teeth were chattering due to nervousness.
For a while, no one spoke up, but the first one to speak up again was An-Hyun.
“I understand what you are saying.”
While An-Hyun usually kept his silence, he glanced at his sister before speaking with a clear voice.
“Sol is not my girlfriend, she’s my sister. I don’t have the slightest intention to abandon her.”
Touched, An-Sol suddenly hugged An-Hyun. Seeing those two, Park Don-Gul didn’t seem to have known that as he rattled out a response.
“Siblings? I didn’t know that. Well, we can’t do anything about that, but nothing changes. Who can guarantee that what happened before won’t repeat itself?”
The situation was turning out to be quite fun. As he couldn’t target An-Hyun directly, Park Don-Gul had targeted the cumbersome An-Sol to pressure An-Hyun.
It looks like Park Don-Gul had chosen to leave by himself. However, he didn’t want to leave quietly as he had shaken everyone’s confidence. An-Hyun didn’t speak anymore, and the hill became silent. The atmosphere had become so silent I couldn’t even hear their breathing.
“Well, don’t think so badly of me. I droned on for a bit, but the situation too uncertain right now, it’s just lukewarm. Also, a lot of people already seems to hate me.”
“So what. What is it that you want….?”
Regardless, when the smart mouth lady asked with less bite than before, Park Don-Gul responded immediately.
“What I want, is for us to create a proper ‘team’ right now.”
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