Editor’s Note: Similar to chapter 128, this chapter seems to be a repeat of the events from the previous chapter, but with more details.
The air felt heavy, as if it was about to rain. Noah wanted to apologize to Ji Hye, but Yohan raised his hand and stopped him. Burying the past was the kinder thing to do. It was better to think of Jung Soo’s death as an act of god rather than lay the blame on Noah and their new comrades. Maybe after Ji Hye had some time they would tell her then.
‘I hope you’ll be able to get over it.’
Ji Hye had experienced all sorts of hardships during the apocalypse and managed to endure them all. Until now. All Yohan could hope for was that she could continue bravely enduring the hardships in front of her.
Ji Hye’s pregnancy was definitely something to celebrate, but it was also grim news. With their current circumstances, where they had to be cautious of even the smallest injury, childbirth seemed like an imposing mountain to overcome. What if she needed to get an abortion? Just thinking about it made Yohan feel terrible. However, this was the path that she had chosen. She knew it would be a dangerous path and risked everything to walk down it. Now she had to take responsibility for that choice.
“Those of you that are close to Ji Hye, take good care of her. I’d like to have all the leaders, Noah, Luca, and the old man follow me to the situation room. Jin Soo, go find Seo Jun, Mr. Kim, Dr. Park, and the other educated camp members and bring them there as well.”
Yohan had called for almost everyone. The situation room was large, but it was filled to the brim as all the summoned people arrived. He placed the classified documents on top of the table and turned to the educated members of his camp.
“I would like everyone here to study the documents so that you can pass on the information to the camp members that we’ll eventually assign to operate the warship. Since Luca has a lot of experience with the coast guard, he’ll be in charge of general operations while Mr. Kim will be responsible for the engine room and other facilities. Don’t worry about the manpower, we have a lot of people. Make sure to include everyone from the production and technician groups. Assign them a role that best suits their talents.”
“Yes sir, young leader.” Luca gave Yohan a mock salute. Yohan nodded at him and then turned to face the old man.
“Elder, I would like you to learn how to use the equipment on the warship. Seo Jun, please figure out how much supplies we can load onto the warship. Elder Park, please help him by prioritizing the crops and livestock seeds that can be stored for a long time.”
“Hey, hey, I’m getting confused by the titles. I told you, just call me old man.”
“I’ll call you Elder Yong.”
“Jeez, you’re deciding my surname for me now?”
“You never told me your surname, so I picked one for you.” Yohan tilted his head, inviting the old man to chime in, but the old man just waved his hand dismissively. Yohan smirked and turned to Elder Park.
“It’ll be difficult to take the livestock, right?”
“It’ll definitely be difficult. We’ll have to butcher them before we depart. We should only take the smoked meat.” Elder Park replied. At the mention of meat, the new member’s eyes sparkled in anticipation.
“For the food, prioritize anything that can be preserved. Food and fuel are the most important. The ship needs to be as light as possible, so we’ll have to decide on weight restrictions for personal belongings.”
“Got it.” Seo Jun replied, not looking concerned. He was certain that the camp members would cooperate with the weight restriction. He was more worried about the food. There were now roughly a hundred people in the camp. He didn’t know how long their voyage would be and, even if he could somehow prepare enough food for the trip, there was no guarantee that they would arrive on schedule. They absolutely had to avoid a situation where they ran out of food in the middle of the ocean. They had to take as much food as possible.
“Noah and Sweeper, head out tomorrow and search the Incheon Port Logistics Center and the Bukgu Logistics Center. You’re looking for two things: one, a usable cargo and ship and, two, more food.”
Since they had just finished harvesting, Yohan knew they had enough grain. However, they were lacking canned food and other non-perishables. If they consumed 20 to 30 cans a day, they would run out of food pretty quickly. He wanted to gather as much as they could, provided that they could load it all onto the warship. Alternatively, if they could find a serviceable cargo ship, that would be a nice surprise.
“What do you think?” Yohan asked Luca, who was studying how to operate a warship.
“Most of the tasks aren’t difficult. Just pick out a few smart people and have them study this information for two to four days and we should be good to go. The problem is that the GPS doesn’t seem to be working properly, so I’m not sure how we’re going to navigate.”
Navigation was indeed an issue. It was something that Yohan had tasked Jae Ho to figure out. Ever since they had decided to set sail, Jae Ho had been thinking about this problem.
‘I’m sure he’ll make it back in time.’
“How’s the engine system?” Yohan asked Mr. Kim, who was looking at the non-commissioned officer training materials for internal combustion facilities.
“Hm,” Mr. Kim frowned, “well, I have a general idea of how it works…I think it’ll be faster if I just go there and take a look.”
“Yes, I think it’ll be best if you go check right away.”
“But Yohan, there’s a problem.”
“What kind of problem?” Yohan asked. Mr. Kim stroked his beard, carefully choosing his words.
“The warship’s fuel economy isn’t as good as I thought. The fuel tank is really big. How many barrels did we bring back last time?”
“Then that’s about 4000 liters, which is definitely not enough. This warship eats up a lot of fuel. We need to sail almost 9000 kilometers and, if we consider the amount of fuel we can put into the tank and how much we can store as reserve fuel, it’ll be a pretty close call. The full load capacity is 90,000 liters. That’s roughly 4,500 barrels worth of fuel. I’m sure that, if we looked hard enough, we would be able to find this much fuel. The main problem is, would we be able to find this much in just two days?”
‘4,500 barrels?’ Yohan couldn’t believe his ears. He could understand why Mr. Kim was frowning.
“Luca, have you checked the oil refinery? How much fuel was there?”
“There’s a lot of oil refineries, so there’s a lot of fuel. However, I don’t think it’ll be easy to move around. It would be best to prepare a refueling truck.”
“Is that possible?”
“With the fuel that we have right now, we can make it to Incheon Port. I think we should anchor the warship at Incheon Port and fuel it directly there.”
Yohan nodded his head. There were plenty of oil refineries nearby. The issue was time. However, it wasn’t impossible.
“Jeez, this is a pretty big job.” The old man clicked his tongue. He was listening in on the conversation. “I’ve been meaning to ask, why a warship of all things? I think a cargo ship would be better.”
“First, there aren’t any cargo ships around. I’ve already searched around on helicopter and they’re all useless or overturned. But, even if there was one, we would still want to have the warship’s weapons with us in case we run into a mutant in the ocean. It would increase our chances of survival. Plus, the warship has a landing pad for the helicopter.” Yohan explained. “However, this is just my opinion. Knowing what I think, do you believe that finding a cargo ship is still the better option, Elder Yong?”
“You’re the leader, so you should decide. Don’t try to off that responsibility onto someone else. The warship’s weapons are probably mostly useless anyways, but I think the Mistral and the Phalanx close-in weapon system in the front are useful.”
Yohan made a mental note of the old man’s comments.
“Hey, I want to clear something up.”
“The reason why we’re preparing all of this is because of that nuclear meltdown or whatever, right?”
“I think going overseas could actually be more dangerous. Are you sure it’s the best decision? Wouldn’t it be safer to just go to Jeju Island or something? All I’m saying is that, maybe Ulleng-do, Okinawa, or even Miyako might be good enough.”
Yohan nodded appreciatively. They were making plans based on Lina’s dreams and Jae Ho’s assessment. There was no definitive proof. It was hard to guarantee that any of this was necessary. It was no better than a guess. However, it was enough to make him anxious and he couldn’t ignore it. More than a solid theory based on facts, Yohan was acting based on his gut instincts.
“For now…let’s just focus on getting everything prepared. Even if I change my mind, it’ll be better to be prepared first. I’m not sure about everything, but what I do know is that we need to get out of this place.”
“Okay, I’m not trying to nitpick. I’m just giving you my opinion.”
Yohan looked around the situation room as the meeting was wrapping up. He followed up on all his orders and made sure that not a single detail was missed. He noticed that Sweeper was interpreting some English documents to some camp members. His pronunciation sounded quite good and he actually seemed knowledgeable. Yohan was surprised.
“You can read English?”
“Of course, I studied overseas.”
“You studied overseas to become an insurance dealer?”
Sweeper smirked at him and gave him a thumbs up.
“We live in an era of infinite competition and lifelong education.”
“Yeah, that’s great. Everyone is dismissed, go rest up. We’re going to be busy tomorrow.”
Yohan’s workaholic tendencies were showing its face again. As decreed, the next day was a busy one for all the camp members. Two recon teams woke up first thing in the morning. Sweeper and Shin Noah were the leaders of these two teams and they had chosen who they wanted to bring along for the expedition the day before.
“Remember, food and the cargo ship are your objectives. If you had to focus on one more than the other, focus on the cargo ship. Having both the warship and cargo ship would be a big help if the voyage gets long.” Yohan instructed.
“Great, be careful.”
Even though he gave the instructions, Yohan didn’t have high expectations. They had already searched most of the areas nearby on helicopter. As the two teams headed out, the old man approached Yohan.
“Wow, two groups eh? This is definitely a battle of pride. Want to bet which group will produce better results?”
Sweeper and Noah overheard the old man’s comment and their eyes sparkled as they moved out.
Some of the mercenaries were former non-commissioned officers in the military and they were checking over the weapons on the warship. They wouldn’t be able to actually test out the weapons right now, but it didn’t take them long to understand how the weapons were used. However, the old man was still pretty negative about the weapons.
“I said this yesterday, but, other than the Phalanx and the Mistral, there aren’t any weapons here that would be useful against a mutant.”
“Is that so?”
“Yeah. This is because the majority of them are either anti-aircraft missiles or anti-ship missiles. None of them are the right tools for the job.”
“Yes, you’re right.”
“But, personally, I think it would be a waste to throw all these weapons away and just travel on a cargo ship. You said we’re travelling overseas. We might encounter other survivors along the way. This firepower would be useful against pirates. Keeping it available is the right thing to do.”
“Okay.” Yohan replied. He hoped that they wouldn’t have to use it, but it was good to keep the option available. Practically everyone could agree that it was necessary to be armed while travelling the open seas.
Luca, Ramos, and Dr. Park were off to the side, going over some documents. All the camp members who used to help with farming were now learning how to operate the warship. Yohan overheard a few of the technicians joke that they might become an all-around entertainment company. He approached Luca.
“How long do you think it will take?”
“I don’t think it’ll take that long. Like I said, it’s honestly not that difficult. Mr. Kim is pretty skilled at maintenance stuff. I don’t think he’s just an average hardware store owner.”
“He said he was an open hardware professional technician.” Yohan commented. Mr. Kim looked away, scratching his head suspiciously.
“Open hardware? What’s that?” Luca asked.
“He said he created non-communication technology in case electronic communication networks, like the internet or phone lines, don’t work. I don’t know. I’m honestly not good with machines.”
“Oh yeah? That’s pretty amazing. I think it’ll take two days to do a test run. If we take into account all the supplies we have to move and the refueling, maybe four days?”
“Great. I’ll leave it up to you.”
The preparations were going smoothly. There was only one thing left that was worrying Yohan. Jae Ho, who had left by himself, just needed to come back safely.
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