The director was clearly annoyed. Hearing it in his voice, his underling could only stammer out a response.
“W—what should we do?”
‘Stupid bastard.’ The director slapped his underling and then turned to the henchman on his right, who was holding an M16.
“Chief Kim,” he ordered.
“Take five or six people with you and support those guarding the trash.”
“The rest of you, follow me. We’re going to the roof.” The director couldn’t figure out what the intruders were up to. However, he was still feeling confident. There were only two of them. Additionally, they weren’t even armed.
‘I’ll make them regret not running away when they had the chance.’ The director took his men and rushed to the rooftops.
They made their way to the metal door leading to the rooftop, which was firmly closed. The director gestured at one of his armed men with his chin. The henchman had a nervous expression on his face as he carefully opened the door. As the door was tightly shut, it creaked when it opened to reveal the desolate scenery of the rooftop.
There was no one on the rooftop.
“Sir, there’s no one here.”
‘Was the rooftop a diversion?’ The director lowered his pistol. The intruders seemed to have lured them to the roof in order to have an easier time rescuing the trash. Thankfully, he had already sent plenty of reinforcements there. The bastards were dancing on the palm of his hand.
Just as the director was thinking that, a buzzing sound could be heard near the edge of the roof, where the safety railings were. Someone had left a walkie-talkie there. The director could feel his face turning red with rage at the thought that the bastards were playing around with him instead. However, he took a few deep breaths and calmed down. He gestured again with his chin, motioning for his men to enter the rooftop. He stood inside with one of his henchmen as the rest walked slowly towards the walkie-talkie, taking great care to mind their surroundings. As they suspected, there was no one around. Once they reached the edge of the roof, one of the senior underlings walked over to the walkie-talkie. He picked it up and started shouting into it.
“Hey, you piece of shit! The moment we catch you, you’re dead. You go that?” He yelled and vented his anger into the device, but there was still no reply. Just an eerie silence.
Just then, a soft metallic sound could be heard behind them. The senior underling’s eyes grew wide. All the gangster’s heads spun around simultaneously.
Yohan was standing on the fixture above the entrance to the rooftop, next to the antenna installation. He was holding a rifle aimed right at them. In an instant, gunfire erupted from Yohan’s gun. As if time slowed down, the director could see that his men were going to get shot down and tried to warn them, but the words barely left his mouth before loud gunfire assailed their ears and men started falling onto the ground. Yohan fired his rifle at the men below him, aiming at those holding guns first. A henchmen with a rifle fell before he could even start to aim his weapon.
The director hurriedly stepped through the rooftop entrance and tried to aim his pistol at Yohan. However, a stray bullet brushed by his shoulder, sending him crawling back into the building on all fours.
Bullets pierced the gangsters’ bodies and blood splattered out from their brains and intestines. The underlings were scared out of their wits and tried to avoid the hail of bullets. However, Yohan was disciplined with his shots and there was no escape.
At this point, it wasn’t a battle. They were being hunted. It was more of a one-sided massacre.
Even as their pain-filled screams reached his ear, Yohan fired his gun non-stop. Each shot echoed loudly on the rooftop until he had to duck behind the antennas to change magazines. The director recognized the opportunity immediately and shouted at his surviving underlings.
“The shooting stopped! Hurry up and get back inside!”
“Director… aack!” The men rushed back towards the entrance at the director’s behest, but this just made it easier for Yohan, who simply noticed that his targets were running closer to him on their own. The director watched his men fall with a blank look on his face, but quickly recovered and started running back down the stairs to escape.
Yohan kept firing until there was no one left standing. Bullet-ridden corpses were still twitching on the ground and those wounded were moaning painfully. The muzzle of Yohan’s rifle was smoking.
Yohan jumped nimbly off the fixture above the rooftop entrance and carefully assessed the situation near the stairwell. He noticed that there was a trail of blood going down the stairs. The director had escaped, but he was not unscathed. Yohan could hunt him down later at his leisure.
Yohan trudged through the sea of bodies strewn about the rooftop. The gray asphalt of the area was now stained red with blood. Yohan slung his M16 A1 rifle diagonally across his back so that it sat comfortably between his left shoulder and right hip. He found his crossbow in the hands of one of the corpses and slung it over his right shoulder. Now his body felt heavy, as if he was wearing a giant turtle shell.
‘Well, it’s not like I can leave my weapons behind.’
The gangsters turned out to be more naive and stupid than he could hope for. This was probably because they had yet to experience the true horrors of the apocalypse. Everything went according to plan. The gangsters moved exactly as Yohan had predicted.
Three hours ago, when Yohan freed himself from his restraints, he had gone back to his home shelter to retrieve his assault rifle. He then returned quickly to the H Mall using the motorbike that he had previously stored away.
Since the gangsters didn’t know what Yohan’s goals were, they probably thought that he was there to find someone. If that was true, they would have incorrectly assumed that he lured them to the roof as a diversion in order to rescue people. Unfortunately for them, Yohan’s real objective was to ambush them on the rooftop and wipe them out.
They had misjudged his intent and became careless as a result, which led to their deaths. They arrogantly thought they were the hunters, never dreaming that they were the prey. As a result, Yohan succeeded in splitting the enemy forces and luring high-value targets to an ideal killing zone. They conveniently grouped up together by the roof’s edge, practically begging to be massacred.
However, the fact that the director survived bothered Yohan. He didn’t expect the director to be cowardly enough to send his men out to the rooftop while staying inside the building himself. The death toll was around thirty people. While Yohan didn’t mind it too much if some random henchmen got away, he knew that the director had to be found and eliminated. Yohan organized his thoughts and turned to leave.
“Uuugh… save me…” A groan could be heard from the pile of corpses. It seemed like someone was lucky enough to avoid getting shot in a vital spot. Yohan shoved a knife into the man’s head and waited for his body to stop twitching. He glanced over the railings and saw that a large number of zombies had been attracted by the sound of gunfire and now surrounded the entire building. The bastards were trapped like rats in a jar.
Just as Yohan was thinking that things would end easily, he heard a shrill howl from the zombies below. One by one, additional zombies added their shrieks to that horrible din until the whole city echoed with multiple simultaneous howling. It got so bad that Yohan had to cover his ears.
‘It’s a zombie wave.’
The howling signified the start of a zombie wave. It was a vicious cycle of zombies shrieking and attracting more zombies. In a blink of an eye, the streets in their district were filled with the undead. The scene was the same no matter which direction Yohan looked. It was a monster parade with zombies all gathering to one place. And all these zombies were focused on one place.
‘Where is the mutant?’ Yohan’s eyes darted over the spectacle as a drop of cold sweat formed on his brow. A zombie wave could only start if a mutant was somewhere nearby. Yohan scanned the streets quickly, but couldn’t find what he was looking for. It could be hiding among the crowd.
Yohan gave up looking for it for now. A mutant was eye-catching enough to be spotted later. Other than finding the mutant, the zombie wave’s target needed to be identified. The mutant probably didn’t make an appearance yet because of the nearby military camps.
They had heard howling and gunfire in the past few weeks. These were not the sound of a small scale battle. Most likely, the zombie wave’s previous target was the Bucheon Army Base. The fact that the zombie wave was now on public roads meant that all the military troops in the vicinity had been destroyed and the mutant had started targeting civilian camps.
In either case, this was a problem and Yohan knew he needed to leave the area urgently. He had to get as far away from the target as possible. He forced down his rising anxiety with much effort and tried to figure out where the zombies were going.
‘The target is…’
It was the building that Yohan was standing on. Yohan’s whole body tensed up. This was the first wave that he encountered in the current timeline. He could feel the hairs on his body bristled up.
Zombie waves never failed to surprise him, no matter how many times he experienced it. The sight of hundreds, thousands of zombies rushing to one place was truly a horrible spectacle to behold. It was clear now that they were targeting H Mall, but Yohan’s heart was filled with worry for Gunn’s camp. There were more than thirty survivors there. It was natural that H Mall was targeted first, since there were nearly one hundred survivors here, but there was no guarantee that this fire wouldn’t spread to the other.
‘I can only pray.’
If the flames of zombie wave spread to the other camp, the survivors there will be virtually annihilated. There was nothing that could be done about it. Yohan pictured the worst-case scenario. Although he had experienced it countless times before, the feeling of loss and helplessness was as strong as ever. After all, it was a camp that they had painstakingly built together.
‘Endure and pray.’
All he could do was hope that the mutant zombie would be satisfied with just H Mall. Yohan scanned the area again, this time looking for an escape route. Now was not the time to worry about the other camp. He had his own life to fret about.
‘Where’s the escape route…?’ Yohan’s eyes darted around. There were a total of eight exits if you considered the department store and shopping mall as one interconnected building. Zombies were congesting the streets everywhere. He needed to find a gap so that he could get out.
Not only did he have to worry about escape, but he also had to decide if he should deal with the director before leaving. The prey that he was hunting was still breathing, but he was already wounded. The chances of the director surviving this mess seemed slim, but he seemed to be the kind of person that was as tenacious as a cockroach and would reappear at the worst moments.
Yohan didn’t have to think too long. He would quickly check a few places where the director might hide. If he couldn’t find him, then he would just give up and get out. Having made up his mind, Yohan moved quickly.
As soon as he re-entered the building, Yohan could look down and see zombies filling up the ground floor. The glass door at the entrance had shattered, unable to handle the immense weight and pressure of the zombie wave trying to get in.
“Aaaah!” A shrill scream attracted Yohan’s attention. The area in front of the escalator between the ground floor and the basement was noisy. There was a group in front of the food store trying to block out the zombies. There were sporadic gunshots, indicating to Yohan that the situation wasn’t good. Right as that thought crossed his mind, someone got torn to shreds and the blockade collapsed. As the number of victims increased, the number of deserters also increased. Unfortunately for the escapees, they were blocked by the swarm. A series of screams echoed throughout the courtyard.
Yohan found and followed a trail of blood leading away from the rooftop entrance. The bloodstains led him towards the 2nd floor of the shopping mall. As he followed the trail, Yohan noted that the bleeding was irregular.
There was a crowd of zombies nearby when he got to the airbridge. These zombies probably gathered here after the director had passed by. Yohan turned around and went up to the 3rd floor to avoid attracting more attention. There were two other places that he thought of checking, the infirmary and the general office.
Since Yohan didn’t know the exact location of the infirmary, he headed to the general office first. He noticed more zombies piling in on the ground floor and quickened his pace.
— Ω —
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