Yohan nodded his head at Noah’s question.
Noah’s face brightened up a little at this. It was incredible just how much hatred one man could inspire. Gae Baek Jung was a truly revolting person. The amount of pain and suffering he had caused was hard to grasp, even within the chaos of the current times. However, he was dead now. The bastard was a corpse. But the burden he had left behind still lingered.
“No matter how horribly he died, it’ll never be enough,” Yohan claimed. “But we mutilated his corpse and did everything we could to make it as miserable as possible.”
“Thank you, friend. I can rest easy now.”
Yohan chuckled at the back and forth. The two of them had been so serious about such a horrible topic that he couldn’t help but laugh.
Suddenly, the sound of a gunshot echoed throughout the room. It was a silenced pistol. It was distant, however, and was no immediate threat. But it was unsettling, and the two immediately shared a glance.
“What was that?” Yohan asked.
“I don’t know,” Noah replied, shrugging. “There must be survivors wandering around outside. Let’s not worry about it for now.”
Yohan considered this for a moment and nodded his head. It was a plausible explanation, after all. The two of them waited in silence for a few moments just to see if they’d hear any more shots. But they didn’t. It seemed to be a one-time thing. Yohan was sure that his comrades weren’t doing anything foolish, so he put the situation out of his mind and continued his conversation with Noah.
They talked for some time and the atmosphere was friendly. They were both enjoying themselves. However, their time together was short and neither of them could stay there for long. So, just as Noah finished complaining about the hardships of having to manage a camp―much of which Yohan himself could sympathize with―he finally decided to get the meeting back on track.
“It’s nice seeing a friend after such a long time, but I think we need to get back to what we were talking about earlier. If we waste too much time here, then I’m afraid my impatient comrades might try something that I don’t want them to. So if it’s alright with you, let’s finish up this negotiation before one of them does something reckless and unwarranted.”
“Sounds good,” Noah replied with a smile. “Today is the first time I’ve spoken to you, but I feel like we work well together.”
“We do,” Yohan agreed. “Are you able to fight as well?”
“I’m barely able to protect myself,” Noah replied.
There was a moment of silence as Noah stroked his chin.
“Since you killed Gae Baek Jung,” Noah continued, “I’ll overlook the fact that you killed my friends. You should be happy about that. Because this is the first time I’ve done that since the apocalypse started.”
“But, nothing else,” Noah said sternly. “Go back.”
Yohan tried his best to read Noah’s expression. He didn’t understand why Noah was trying so hard to make him leave. Well, he did have one idea on why that might be, but it was only a guess.
“Just letting you guys go is a pretty big deal on its own,” Noah continued. “But if I let you guys roam around in my territory freely, then I might lose my position as leader. I’ll become wildly unpopular.”
That was what Yohan had guessed. His key comrades from the previous timeline had died early on. The spies that Gae Baek Jung had planted in Noah’s camp were probably still there. If they found out what happened tonight, they wouldn’t hesitate to sow discord.
“No, we have to continue,” Yohan replied.
“Why the hell do you have to do that? Even though you knew we were here, why did you guys even come? Why are you guys acting so recklessly?”
Yohan released a deep sigh. In the end, he had no choice but to explain his real reason for being there. He was a bit hesitant to do so, but as long as he was careful about what information to reveal and what to keep hidden, then it wouldn’t turn out too unfavorably.
“A nuclear reactor is going to explode soon.”
“A nuclear reactor is going to explode?” Noah parroted. “What do you mean?”
“It’s exactly as I say. An atomic power plant is going to blow up. If it does, we’d have to fight against both zombies and a radioactive fallout. That’s why we need the blueprint of an item that’s nearby.”
“Where did you find information about a power plant blowing up? Are you sure?”
“That’s something I can’t tell you. But if you don’t believe me, consider the fact that we didn’t have to come here. Our camp was safe and secure. Yet, we still decided to risk our lives by coming. There’s no other reason why we would do that.”
Lina’s existence was top secret. If someone else knew that she could accurately predict the future, then it could start a war. As a result, nobody outside of their camp could know.
“I guess we’re in real trouble then,” Noah said.
Noah put his hands behind his head and leaned back in his chair. He looked exhausted and worried. Yohan understood why. Anyone would’ve made the same expression if they were in Noah’s shoes. He was facing both internal and external issues and now there was a nuclear reactor on the fritz, so it made sense that he was beginning to feel the weight of the world on his shoulders.
“Everyone is,” Yohan agreed.
“If there were a superhero that could prevent and detoxify the radiation, then we’d be saved.”
“The way you talk is nutty, do you know that?”
Noah struck the desk with his fist as a new idea suddenly hit him.
“Wait, can I call our advisor?” he asked. “If you can convince him, then your request will be possible. You can inform your comrades through your walkie-talkie. The comms are secure.”
“Great. Wait a moment.”
Yohan grabbed his walkie-talkie and pressed the call button.
“It’s Yohan. One more person will be coming this way. Let them in.”
— ”…Roger,” Sweeper replied, sounding more than a little reluctant at the order.
Noah had a gloomy expression on his face as he looked over at Yohan.
“So… you brought guards here?”
“They’re waiting outside of the passageway. I’m sure you did the same.”
“Yeah. You’re right about that.Noah smirked and grabbed his walkie-talkie.
“Hey, ask Mr. Moon to come here.”
— “Okay,” a voice replied.
A few minutes later, a man opened the door and walked in.
Yohan’s eyes widened in recognition.
“Woah, Yohan!” the man exclaimed. “What are you doing here?”
Out of everyone that could have possibly walked through that door, this man was the one that Yohan wanted to see the least. Before the apocalypse, he had been a constant annoyance at work, and during the previous apocalypse, before Yohan’s revival, he had put the whole camp in danger on two separate occasions. Yohan had made the mistake of trusting him and had been backstabbed for it.
He was Moon Sung Chul from the Gyeongseong Industrial Facilities Team.
“Why is he―?” Yohan asked.
“What?” Noah replied astonished. “You know him?”
Everyone in the room had a surprised expression on their face.
“Yohan was the one that attacked us?” Moon Sung Chul asked.
“You should get your facts straight,” Yohan replied harshly. “You guys attacked us first.”
“Hey, shouldn’t you be more respectful?” Moon Sung Chul asked.
“I’m here as the leader of a camp,” Yohan explained. “This isn’t a company or a school. I think you’re the one that needs to be careful about what you say here, Moon Sung Chul.”
“Jeez, you’re a weird bastard, aren’t you?” Moon Sung Chul replied with a smile close to a sneer.
“Be careful what you say, Mr. Moon,” Noah interjected, trying to mediate between the two. The underlying hostility between them was clear.
Yohan sighed in frustration. It was bad enough that Gae Baek Jung’s spy, Kim Joon, was probably already in Noah’s camp. Now there was Moon Sung Chul, a selfish backstabber, in the picture as well. Yohan could understand why Noah was so exhausted, there was probably politics and drama at every turn, including their current negotiations. Noah was probably having a hard time controlling his camp. A few bad apples had rotted the whole basket. Only those who had survived the fight against Gae Baek Jung were Noah’s true allies.
At first, Yohan had hoped to finish these negotiations without any further bloodshed. Thankfully, Noah was an understanding person, though. So there was a chance that what Yohan was about to do wouldn’t completely ruin everything. However, after seeing Moon Sung Chul once again and speaking to him, he now knew that this was impossible. As long as Moon Sung Chul was here, negotiating was useless. Nothing Yohan could ever say would convince a man like that. This made Moon Sung Chul an obstacle between Yohan and Noah ever becoming allies.
‘Moon Sung Chul. Didn’t I tell you that I was going to kill you the next time we met?’
There was no need to contemplate on the matter any further. Yohan would be the dumbass of the century if he allied himself with a camp that had both Kim Joon and Moon Sung Chul in it.
“It was fun, Noah. And it was great seeing you again. But I think it’ll be difficult for us to coexist in this timeline.” Yohan sounded as if he were about to break the table.
“W-wait, Yohan,” Moon Sung Chul asked, surprised at Yohan’s rage. “What’s wrong?”
Moon Sung Chul tried to grab him and calm him down.
However, Yohan knew that the man was faking it. The whole thing was an act. Moon Sung Chul was worried that his status within the camp would be affected if the negotiations failed because of him. He didn’t care whether they failed, as long as he wasn’t to blame. If it was Noah’s fault, then it didn’t matter. So he was acting concerned and surprised to make himself seem like a benevolent, caring person.
“Calm down, friend,” Noah said. “And you too, Mr. Moon. Yohan just explained that there is a nuclear power plant that is going to blow up soon. So he came here to find a blueprint that could stop it from happening. I need your help in convincing the other camp members.”
Moon Sung Chul’s expression hardened when he heard Noah’s explanation, clearly indicating how much he hated that idea.
“A nuclear plant is going to blow up? Really?” Moon Sung Chul asked, skepticism clear in his voice. He wasn’t even slightly convinced that this was the case.
Yohan nodded without a word. Nothing he could say would convince this person.
“How do you know that?”
“I’m not obligated to tell you,” Yohan replied.
“Look, Yohan,” Moon Sung Chul began, sounding as if he were about to try and explain something to a five-year-old. “You didn’t do very well in school, did you? Why would a nuclear power plant explode? And how could someone like you stop it with a blueprint? Are you a nuclear technician?”
“I never said I was going to stop it.”
“I’m sure. Do you want to know what I think? I think you’re making this whole thing up. You have one hell of an imagination, Yohan. I’ll give you that.”
“Mr. Moon,” Noah said. “Be nice.”
“Look, leader. Are you seriously falling for the crap that this guy is spewing? Back when I worked with him, this guy was constantly playing both sides. He’s a liar, a cheater, and he left the company without any notice. What kind of man does that? You can’t trust him.”
‘And there it is,’ Yohan thought. Moon Sung Chul’s mask had slipped off, revealing the grimy politician underneath. Yohan continued to watch in silence.
“Look, there’s this thing called an automatic cooling system at every nuclear power plant. No matter how chaotic things get, if there’s an emergency, you can start the cooling system with the press of a button. They don’t blow up like they do in the movies. And even if something crazy happened, why would it blow up now? It’s been totally fine for nearly a year.”
“Moon Sung Chul!” Noah reprimanded.
“What the hell?! Leader! This bastard killed four of our comrades! Did you forget the camp rules? Huh? Everyone is anxious now that you’re fooling around with a liar like him. We need to kill him right now and take his head back to them.”
“Moon Sung Chul!” Noah shouted as he leaped up from his seat and grabbed Moon Sung Chul’s collar.
Yohan was thankful to Moon Sung Chul, as much as he hated him. He had single-handedly allowed Yohan to get rid of all of his hesitation and regret.
‘Thanks to you, I was able to regain control of my swaying heart. Thanks, Moon Sung Chul. You fucking bastard.’
Yohan pressed the call button on his walkie-talkie twice, causing two audible beeps. This was the signal he had told his comrades about earlier. The two men looked over at Yohan the moment they heard the sound.
“What did you do just now?” Moon Sung Chul asked.
Yohan just shrugged his shoulders.
“You haven’t changed,” Yohan claimed.
“You need to be more respectful,” Moon Sung Chul replied.
“It was fun while it lasted, Noah.”
Noah frowned as he tried to understand the meaning behind Yohan’s comment.
“I don’t think you’re as competent as you were back in your previous life,” Yohan continued. “I feel bad for all the people that died.”
“What are you trying to say?”
Yohan gave one last shrug before springing into action. He grabbed his pistol, switched off the safety, aimed, and fired, all in a single action. It took less than a second. An instant later, there was a bullet in Moon Sung Chul’s forehead.
— Ω —