* * *
The next day, Yohan went to the bank and took out a loan for as much as he could. He also amassed cash from other financial companies and even some more unscrupulous sources. The world was going to be destroyed in six months anyways. He wasn’t afraid of loan sharks at all.
He pushed aside any concerns of zombies never appearing. He was more worried about not having enough time and resources to fully prepare for the approaching zombie apocalypse. That day would definitely come. The instincts that helped him survive through three years of hell were already screaming out that there was danger.
He had even found a real estate agent to help him sublease his place. Since housing was currently in high demand, it would probably get rented out quickly.
After his loans were approved, he handed in his letter of resignation. Since he had been working in the same place for nine years, ever since he graduated from highschool, the severance pay was quite good.
Yohan was lost in thought as he looked at his bank account balance. It was an exorbitant amount of money that one would normally struggle to amass in a lifetime. It was the kind of money that you would have to sell your soul for.
Immediately, Yohan began preparing for ‘that day’. He wrote down in a notebook all the things he needed to prepare for the disaster.
- Food Supplies
- Survival Gear
The first thing was the hideout. He needed to create a place that, in the future, would commonly be called a ‘shelter’. The place needed to be big enough to store a huge amount of food supplies and he wanted it to be near convenience stores and supermarkets. Most importantly, it needed auxiliary facilities. If the place didn’t already have water tanks and solar panels installed, it needed to be able to accommodate them.
Yohan went house hunting. There weren’t many places that met his conditions, so it took him nearly a month to find a place that he liked. He signed a contract for an entire single-family house in the Kkachiul Complex in Bucheon City. The deposit was a whopping 30 million won and it had a monthly rent of 1 million won, but no one would be around to enforce the contract in six months anyways.
The hideout had the solar panels on the roof and an emergency water tank, exactly what he wanted. There was a large convenience store in the center of the apartment complex and there was a strip of various stores, including a supermarket and department store, just a short distance away from city hall.
“By the way, I know there are already solar panels on the roof, but would you mind if I installed some extra panels?” asked Yohan as he signed the contract. The current solar panels were set up to heat water. What Yohan wanted was a standalone power system. He didn’t want solar thermal, but solar photovoltaics. He wanted a self-sufficient place that could generate its own electricity.
Yohan bought 12 household solar modules and inverters in a set. It was a worthwhile investment, even if the installation process and building regulation approvals took over a month to complete.
Nearly 50 million won was spent just preparing the shelter and its facilities.
Yohan bought food in bulk with the rest of the money. Rice, instant noodles, water, and all kinds of canned foods. Additionally, he stocked up on various vegetables seeds. He choose vegetables that were easy to grow and quick to cultivate, such as potatoes, tomatoes, lettuce, and yams. His plan was to grow his own food after his supplies ran out. It was going to be hard to find food on the street in a year’s time.
Through the blackmarket, Yohan ordered several sets of large knives and got information on where he could acquire bows and crossbows. Of course, guns were the best weapons, but he could only get shotguns from the gun stores, which weren’t very useful in the beginning of the apocalypse. They were noisy and awkward to reload, on top of other things. Yohan knew that guns would always be available, even after the panic. The issue was finding a weapon that would help him last until then.
From his experience, the best weapons against a zombie were the 60cm hunting knife, the kukri, and the crossbow. These were easy to carry and wield and allowed him to attack while maintaining some distance.
For survival gear, he needed maps, a bulletproof vest, combat boots, leather gloves, and more. Yohan carefully packed them away, making sure not to forget anything.
Transportation was satisfied by a motorbike and a supply of gasoline. Finally, all of his primary preparations were complete. Yohan used the remaining money to prepare a second shelter. This was in case his first shelter was taken over by others or lost to the zombies. In the previous timeline, he had lost more than 10 shelters, and they were heavily fortified.
The second shelter needed to be a remote place where drinking water and food could be procured from the wild. It had to be a place that people wouldn’t accidentally find, even after a long period of time. It also needed to have a spot where he could store items so that they wouldn’t be found, even if the shelter was discovered. Yohan checked a list of islands in the Republic of Korea.
* * *
Three months had passed since he started preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Yohan focused on physical training throughout these months and felt that he was in better shape than before his return. He gazed at his storage full of food with a satisfied look. Just looking at all the assorted canned foods that filled the space made him feel full. The amount here was enough to last him 4-5 years if he lived alone.
Of course, he did not intend to be alone that long, he couldn’t. There was a clear limitation in going solo. He didn’t make all of these preparations just to live as a hermit and survive only for a few years. No, Yohan had a clear goal.
He wanted a safe shelter and strong, capable comrades that he could trust. In other words, an organization. Yohan had realized something while surviving all alone in the previous timeline. When you were alone, you would either turn into a savage that stole from others or become too weak to defend yourself.
Yohan visited a shop near Yeouido. He was here to pick up the crossbow that he had ordered. He wasn’t happy that he had to go far away from his shelter, but he had no choice. Afterall, it wasn’t easy to acquire contraband like this. After he obtained the crossbow, his preparations would be complete. All there was left to do in the remaining three months before the zombies appeared was to practice shooting the crossbow.
The crossbow was light. He already had experience using it in the previous timeline; three months of practice would be enough to bring him back to form.
After picking up his order, Yohan felt hungry, so he went to a food stall that he used to frequent back when he was working. It was a place that he often visited with his co-workers. It was akin to a haven, a place where he was relieved of the stress from his hard work life.
They called it a food stall, but it was more of a dining bar. It’s name, ‘Romantic Stall’, gave it a homey and welcoming atmosphere. The entrance was covered with a vinyl tent and there were plastic tables and curtains inside, which made it feel like you were inside a food stall.
He had the stall’s udon for the first time in a long time and it was exquisite. As he slurped and devoured the plump, soup-soaked noodles, the door chimes rang and several office workers came in, fresh off work.
‘Is it already time for people to get off work?’
Several more customers came in, loudly chatting with one another. It was a large group.
“Oh? Yohan!” said a familiar voice. Yohan turned around. They were his co-workers, the security team from the Gyeongseong Industrial Facility. Everyone, from his immediate superiors to his colleagues and subordinates, were crowding in. They were probably having a get-together meal.
Yohan’s heart grew heavy. Even though he had reunited with the people of his past life for the first time in years, he had immediately spat out a short, single-paged resignation letter, leaving his colleagues disappointed.
Deputy Manager Sung Chul Moon approached Yohan and smacked him on the back. Deputy Moon seemed happy to see him, but Yohan couldn’t reciprocate the sentiment. When the company turned into a zombie swarm in the previous timeline, Deputy Moon sacrificed several colleagues and barely survived. Yohan forgave his actions when they were reunited at a survivor’s camp, but then he did something even worse. He leaked the camp’s information to hostile forces in order to save his own hide once again, leading to the annihilation of the camp and its people.
Deputy Moon was one of those people who should never be accepted or trusted under any circumstances. Yohan really wanted to kill him right now in order to prevent him from causing any problems in the future.
“You punk, do you know how hard we had it after you quit without warning?”
“I apologize,” replied Yohan, with a quiet bow. Even though preparing for the zombie apocalypse had the highest priority, he was still sincerely sorry.
“You were such a hard worker, what got into you? Huh, have you been working out?” asked Deputy Moon as his hand gripped Yohan’s shoulder and then moved down to feel his forearm.
“Senior, please don’t touch me. You’ll die if you do.”
“Just kidding,” said Yohan, with a smile as he grabbed Deputy Moon’s hand and separated it from his body. “Ah, but I wasn’t joking when I told you not to touch me.”
Deputy Moon flinched at Yohan’s grip and retrieved his hand with a frown. The atmosphere grew tense, motivating Department Manager Joon Hyuk Go, who used to be a team manager, to step in.
“What the hell is with this mood? Anyways, how fortunate we are to bump into you. Let’s have a drink together. I was sad that I didn’t get a chance to send you off properly, but this is great.”
Department Manager Joon Hyuk Go ignored Yohan’s remark and dragged some tables over so that the group could sit with him. He was the overbearing type, who didn’t really care if other people stared or thought badly of him. Yohan didn’t hate drinking, at least not in his past life before the zombies appeared. Now however, with the apocalypse looming, he had no plans or desire to waste time getting drunk.
“I’ll just have a bite to eat before leaving. I have business to attend to.”
“Jeez, what’s up with you? You weren’t like this before, what got you so worked up these past few months? What have you been doing these days and what are those?” asked Deputy Moon, pointing at Yohan’s luggage.
Yohan wanted to yell “I became like this because of you, you piece of garbage.”, but he forcefully swallowed down the words and smiled bitterly. No matter what anyone thought, the bastard’s survival instinct was quite incredible. Yohan would most likely run across him again one day.
‘If I happen to meet you after the outbreak, I’ll kill you with my own two hands,’ muttered Yohan to himself.
As he was thinking this, there was a loud noise at the entrance. Yohan turned to look. As soon as he saw the condition of the man standing at the food stall’s entrance, his whole body tensed from head to toe.
White pupils, pale skin, and a dragging walk.
It was definitely a zombie. The survival instincts that had been dormant within Yohan for months quickly revived. These were his sense for survival that had been honed through numerous near-death experiences. Yohan reached for the hunting knife at his waist and held it tightly without unsheathing it. Even during a time of peace, he was always armed. After living through three years of hell, it was his natural state of being.
The zombie slowly walked towards its prey while groaning loudly. Everyone around the zombie was looking at it as if it was a crazy person. Everyone except for one person, Yohan. Yohan stood up quickly.
“I’ll be heading out first.”
“Huh? You’re going already? You haven’t even finished eating…”
Yohan got up and marched out before Department Manager Go could finish speaking. He put down two 10,000 won bills on the counter and deliberately moved to the door in the opposite direction of the zombie.
Another zombie was right in front of him the moment he opened the door. The unpleasant, grating groans emanating from its throat was unmistakable. Yohan drew the knife from his waist immediately and thrust it into the zombie’s heart without hesitation. He then kicked the zombie, which rolled to the ground. It writhed as it tumbled to the floor.
Screams filled the air, partly because people just saw him stabbing a zombie, and partly because the first zombie was now biting a customer’s cheek. Yohan ignored them and left the screams and the stall behind. Yeouido was in pandemonium. Although he didn’t know when it started, it already looked like many people here were infected. There was blood splattered everywhere and screams could be heard.
He didn’t expect the outbreak to occur ahead of its anticipated time. Yohan realized that it was a mistake to expect any scenario prematurely and conclude that zombies would appear in six month’s time. Even if it was necessary in order to pick up the crossbow, it was careless of him to go somewhere far from the shelter that he had prepared.
However, Yohan was calm. Most of the preparations were already complete and the supplies needed for survival—such as emergency rations, maps, and knives—were always carried on his person.
It was still too early for the military to be involved or for traffic to be completely jammed. All he had to do was to follow his plan, travel back to his shelter calmly and get through the chaotic starting phase of the zombie apocalypse.
‘Either way… things are moving quickly now.’
— Ω —
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