Yohan felt confident. It wasn’t like he was downplaying the danger. Rather, when compared to some of the stuff that he had experienced before, he was confident in his ability to handle it.
A gang. They may be actual gangsters, but how many people could they have actually killed? Ten? Twenty? In the previous timeline, Yohan had killed hundreds of people in order to survive. His mentality was on a whole different level. They wouldn’t be able to handle him. There was one issue however…
“Do those guys have guns?” asked Yohan. This was vitally important.
“We didn’t see any.”
“That’s a relief.”
“There’s something else I wanted to tell you,” Saeri said. Yohan was still thinking about the gang when he noticed her movements. He looked over to her and noticed that she was taking her jacket off.
“What are you doing?”
“I’m trying to make you mine.”
“This isn’t the time for jokes. Put your clothes back on.”
“I’m not joking. I need someone on my side. To save my sister. To protect me. After seeing you fight earlier I decided that you’re my best bet.”
“I’m sorry, but you’re mistaken. I’m not the type of person that would save or protect someone. Killing, on the other hand, is a different story. Why don’t you go after Gunn?”
“He won’t do. He’s too soft.”
Yohan’s throat felt dry. He rubbed his face, feeling some blood rushing into his cheeks.
“We can take the romance bit slow,” Saeri continued, “though I will admit that I’ve taken a liking to you. I’m not a bad catch either, right?”
She was clearly confident in her looks. Yohan didn’t expect such a shameless show of pride. However, her actions weren’t that strange or suspicious, given the circumstances. In a zombie apocalypse, a woman’s appeal was her strongest weapon. But it was also a great weakness that attracted danger.
Yohan had seen it happen a few times, the act of securing the camp’s strongest fighter through seduction. It was natural survival instincts and it happened more frequently as time passed. It could be that Saeri had already figured this out.
For Yohan, as long as the person approaching him was not dangerous, he had not outright rejected any women who approached him with sexual favours. Even though sex wasn’t as important as eating or sleeping, it did help to improve morale and relieve stress. Of course, something like love is unnecessary. Still, despite her words, there could be some negative consequences given the current situation.
“Sorry, I can’t protect you or save your sister. I’ll pretend you never said any of this.”
“That’s unfortunate… I wanted to do it too.” Saeri pulled her leather pants back up, but not before flashing him an extremely provocative smile.
‘What a wicked temptress.’ Yohan felt like he was going crazy. Still, he really hated being in debt. He scratched his head several times before speaking.
“One for one. Every time we do it, I’ll save your life that many times. That’s how people usually make these kind of deals,” Yohan said, as nonchalant as possible. Saeri’s face brightened. That was all she wanted to hear.
“Great, that’s enough for me. Then, shall we get started?”
“No thanks.” Yohan smiled back at her.
Yohan took out a cigarette and put it in his mouth. It wasn’t that he was feeling embarrassed but, rather, he disliked the fact that she felt compelled to offer herself this way due to the circumstances.
“First of all, I’m not stupid enough to simply accept a random girl in the middle of all this chaos. Secondly, I’m not some trash that would touch someone when they’re shaking.”
Yohan stared pointedly at Saeri’s finger. Her hands were shaking ever so slightly. Other people might not have noticed it, but Yohan definitely did. No matter how daring she was, Saeri was still young. It was obvious that she was putting on airs and it took a lot of effort to wear that mask.
“Lastly, you’re not my type. I’m not attracted to kids. We still have work to do, so put your clothes back on.”
Saeri’s bright smile instantly turned into a frown. Yohan puffed on his cigarette.
‘Jeez, how ridiculous.’ Yohan wasn’t expecting to have this kind of conversation when Saeri first approached him. More importantly, he still hadn’t decided yet if he was going to settle down here.
As he looked around at the camp, he noticed Saeri smiling brightly at him. He gave her a forced smile in return. It seemed that she was satisfied with the outcome of their conversation. He could now tell that she was openly ogling him with her eyes and thought that maybe she really just wanted him.
‘I don’t remember being this popular before. Oh well, doesn’t matter.’ Yohan extinguished his cigarette.
“Why do you look so annoyed? Is it me?”
“No. There are just some things that I need to think about,” Yohan replied, waving his hand. He blew out the rest of the cigarette smoke in his mouth. Saeri clicked her tongue dejectedly. She finished putting on her jacket and stared at Yohan once more.
“Is that a bulletproof vest?”
“Wow, you’re prepared.” Saeri’s eyes widened. It was an understandable reaction. Yohan dressed as if he was a soldier going to war. A bandana covered his mouth and neck and he was wearing leather gloves, a bulletproof vest, and combat boots. Her eyes would bulge out more if she could see all the weapons hidden underneath. He wore knives as if they were a garter belt, strapped to the outside of his thighs. He had a small razor blade wrapped in tape near his groin, which would have drawn a comment or two if anyone saw it. He even had lockpicks and other tools inside his boots in case of an emergency.
“You’re really not going to save my sister?”
“We’ll see. I can’t give you a straight answer right now. I might help if I decide to stay at this camp and those guys keep bothering us, but have they killed anyone? How many of them are there?”
“No, they didn’t hurt anyone. There were six of them. Well, Gunn and Hyuk got hurt a little. They were trying to take some people and Gunn tried to stop them. Hyuk got angry after his brother got hurt and they hit him.”
“Only six people with no weapons and they still got their way? Was everyone else just sitting down?”
“They had a hammer, dripping with blood. Everyone was busy crying…” Saeri hesitated before continuing, “…including me.”
Yohan cleared his throat loudly to clear the awkward atmosphere.
“Go help clean up. If we don’t secure this place, we won’t last long.”
“I thought we made a deal. Are you going to save my sister or not?”
“Forget it. If things get bad here, I’m just going to leave.”
“Are you scared of those gangsters too?”
“I’m not scared. I’m actually contemplating killing them all, but I’m still not sure about something.”
“Not sure of what?”
“Not sure if this camp or their camp is more qualified to survive.”
“What? I told you. Those are bad people that kidnapped my sister.”
“But they haven’t killed anyone. Of course, I’m not saying that what they did is right. If they become a threat to me, I could kill them anytime,” Yohan said, casually, “However, aside from the Kang brothers, you, and maybe Jung Hwan… I feel like the others are useless. If necessary, I might just take a few people with me. Getting out of here would be a lot easier than securing the mall. On my way here, I already noted a few places where a small group could start a camp.”
Gunn’s camp had survived mostly due to sheer luck and the efforts of a few people. Yohan wanted to establish a fortified primary base that had great protection and support. However, Gunn’s camp didn’t meet these standards. He wasn’t blaming anyone, it was normal for people to be scared of dying. However, they were running out of time. Objectively speaking, the people in the camp had drastically low life expectancy scores in Yohan’s eyes.
“You’re a scary person, Yohan”
“Nonsense. Excuse me, I’m going to talk to Gunn.” Yohan was done trying to convince people. This camp couldn’t handle six humans, let alone zombies. He already had another plan prepared precisely for this kind of scenario. He needed to use Gunn’s influence. It was still too early for him to exert his will on the survivors here. Additionally, Gunn had to remain as the camp’s leader.
Yohan found Gunn, who gave him a meaningful smile. Yohan scratched his head.
‘Did he hear my conversation with Saeri?’
“How’d it go? Did you talk with everyone?”
“Yeah, it was hard not to tell them all off.”
Gunn laughed out loud. It was an honest laugh. Yohan frowned. He was starting to lose interest in helping the group. When he encountered Gunn’s group in the previous timeline, they weren’t like this. Yohan wondered if the survivors here were even the same people.
‘Is it because of my timing?’
After experiencing some danger and hardship, the group would become more reliable survivors, but unfortunately they haven’t had those experiences yet.
“You don’t want to throw away this camp, do you?”
“Like I said. If we don’t secure the whole mall, I don’t think we’ll last long. What do you think about leaving this place and starting a new camp somewhere else with me? We’ll only take a few people with us.”
“You’re joking right?” Gunn chuckled. Seeing his bright smile, Yohan couldn’t bring himself to say that he wasn’t joking at all. He thought about simply leaving the camp entirely, but it would be a waste to leave Gunn behind.
“There’s too many people. Do we really need to keep everyone?”
Yohan groaned inwardly.
“Then here’s what we need to do.” Yohan calmly detailed his plan. When he was done, Gunn looked gloomy.
“Isn’t this… a bit much?”
“Not at all. Wake up. You’re not their mother. You’re not responsible for these people. In this situation, we can’t save everyone. They need to learn to protect themselves.”
Gunn didn’t argue further. He knew Yohan was right. Gunn reluctantly decided to take action and turned his head to call Hyuk over.
“Hyuk, tell everyone to gather around.”
Moments later, all the survivors in the camp gathered. With everyone present, Gunn stepped forward to speak. Yohan was standing behind him, but disappeared once Gunn started to speak.
‘There is definitely too many people here.’
“Did something happen?”
“Everyone, I need to tell you all about our future plans.” The crowd quieted down as soon as Gunn spoke. Once he had everyone’s attention, he continued.
“According to Yohan, who came from outside, the government and military aren’t able to do their jobs. I don’t think we can keep waiting for them like this. We need a long-term plan. The water we have right now will run out soon and the supplies will last no longer than a month.”
“So what do you want us to do about it?”
“I’m thinking about barricading the main entrance on the first floor and killing all the zombies inside the mall.”
“No way!” The crowd got noisy as people talked amongst themselves.
“We’re looking for volunteers. When this is over…” Gunn paused. It was difficult for him to say the next part. “When this is over, any additional water and supplies acquired will only be distributed among the volunteers from now on.”
“That’s unfair!” The crowd got louder and some people were screaming at him. Gunn was shocked. He had never been yelled at like this before.
“Gunn, I don’t think that’s fair. Are you saying that those that cannot fight should just die?”
“I’m sorry. If things don’t work this way then no one will volunteer and everyone will die. Those that cannot volunteer can offer to pay those who do for a share of their supplies.”
“I’m not done yet.” The room went silent.
“If we run out of supplies—or if another group invades us and kicks us out of the mall—we won’t be able to take non-volunteers.”
The crowd erupted once more. Their jeers hurt Gunn emotionally.
‘I put my life on the line and fought for them…’
He was only asking them to do the same in return and, yet, they responded with cold words and stares.
— Ω —
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