26. Yangju City
A shrill siren rang on the outer wall, alerting the men. The sharp warning signal sounded far and wide.
“This is not a drill! It’s the real deal! Hurry!”
The Captain hastily shouted at the top of his lungs. The soldiers ran around diligently, preparing the ammunition they needed in advance. Boxes filled with magazines were distributed to each point. The men checked to make sure the crew-served weapons were functional so that they could provide support fire when needed. The Captain surveyed the proceedings with an eagle eye as he barked an order through the radio in his hand.
— “Mortar operating normally.”
— “Grenade launcher operating normally.”
The Captain raised his binoculars. The monkey monsters menacingly crowded the roads, approaching steadily. There were undoubtedly over a few thousand. The artillery fire data calculated from the observation device were sent to the computers attached to the mortars.
“Are the mortars ready?!”
— “Data received! Ready to fire!”
With the green signal from the Captain, the soldiers quickly inserted the shells and backed away. All mortars fired at once. Immediately after it fired, the men inserted a new cartridge, their swift motions showing their training beforehand.
Loud explosions broke out in the middle of the horde. A destructive fire enveloped the area. Those who were at the center died before they could even scream. Chunks of flesh splattered across the sky, painting a bloody landscape.
Only now did the monsters understand that they were being attacked and scattered. Instantly hiding in the houses and buildings located on either side of the road, the monsters continued their advance. This smart trick made the mortar attacks less effective compared to before. Observing the situation, the Captain issued new orders.
“Prepare object 1 ~ 15.”
— “Trigger ON! Explosives ready!”
“Blast ‘em away!”
— “5! 4! 3! 2! 1! Firing!”
The buildings beyond the outer wall started to crumble simultaneously. Surprised by the collapse, the monsters scurried to escape, but it was far too late. Large blocks of concrete fell above their heads, blocking their advance. Unable to do anything, the monkey monsters were crushed. White dust clouds enveloped the area and vision of it became hazy.
— “Objects blasted.”
The Kwang Hwi Faction had already prepared for such a situation. Their simulation results showed that hostile forces could avoid direct confrontation by using structures outside. At first, the popular idea was to clear away any building that could be used to hide. But, Kwang Hwi cooked up another devious plan.
He thought of letting the enemies hide in the buildings first. When they felt safe, he planned to activate the explosives that were prepared ahead of time, burying them along with the buildings. His scheme had worked perfectly.
The number of monkeys was drastically cut down as most were crushed to death. Those who couldn’t hide anymore charged towards the outer wall as a last-ditch move. The grenade launcher fired away, dashing their hopes. Even though they had dispatched sandbags below the wall, aftershocks still shook the grenade launchers.
The limbs of the monkey monster flew into the air as they were swept away by the bombardment, a testament to its destructive power. Meanwhile, the persistent ones that survived entered the rifle range. The soldiers, who had been patiently waiting, aimed and pulled their triggers.
Machine guns and assault rifles fired in unison, launching a hailstorm of bullets. The monsters that came close crumbled away one by one. Some managed to climb onto the wall, but they were drilled with holes by the soldier’s focus fire. The mortars that were firing occasionally went completely silent at this moment. This was because the soldiers in charge of operating them had grabbed their primary arms. Brass shells rolled on the floor haphazardly.
The Captain clicked his tongue. At a glance, the battle appeared to be an overwhelming victory for the Kwang Hwi Faction. However, from a cold, objective perspective, he knew they still had a long way to go. The monsters that broke past the carpet bombing from mortars and grenade launchers were only a few hundred. In response, the soldiers became too nervous and wasted a lot of bullets. While it was fine to squander some, it was difficult to tell what could happen, so they should be prepared for any emergencies. Who knows, one more bullet in the chamber could save their lives. It was a battlefield after all, not some playground or simulation.
After thousands of monkeys were slaughtered, the gunshots gradually died. The vicinity became silent, except a few nervous gasps here and there.
Each team reported back immediately. Naturally, there were none. After confirming the reports, the Captain changed the radio channel. Connecting to the Situation Room, he spoke to Kwang Hwi.
“This is the Southern Wall Security Team. We’ve eliminated the monkey horde. Over.”
— “Copy that. Good work, everyone. I’m sending civilians to clean the area.”
Kwang Hwi and the Captain both spoke in a solemn manner.
“Affirmative, commander. Thank you for your hard work.”
Above the Captain, the Heron flew, capturing the whole scene.
『You have defeated 3500 Monkeys faster than anybody else in the world.』
『As a reward…』
Kwang Hwi flicked his finger and the notifications blocking his view disappeared. While he couldn’t get the reward for the first kill, he got plenty for killing en mass.
This was the function he recently unlocked after entering the Second Stage. Among the categories, Kwang Hwi looked at the ‘Divisions.’
Dongducheon City Security Team (▼Details)
Power Plant Guard Squad
Farmland Guard Team
Recruit Training Center
He clicked on the detail button. From there, he found a sub-category called “Southern Wall Security Team” under the Dongducheon City Security Team. The names of soldiers deployed to the Southern Wall were all displayed from top to bottom.
“Yong Seok was there, huh?”
Yong Seok was one of the highest-ranking officers in the Kwang Hwi Faction. Below him, other soldier’s ranks were displayed in order.
|Yong Seok Ma|
Southern Wall Command Center
Choe Sang Lee
Woo Jung Kim
Chul Min Park
Yu Jun Lee
Southern Wall Portable Restroom
‘Their loyalty went up.’
Kwang Hwi certainly remembered that just yesterday, most of his men were ‘normal’. But today, they suddenly became ‘loyal’. Kwang Hwi quickly understood why as it was not that complicated.
‘It must have been due to the recent confrontation with the Monkeys.’
After going through a real battle and surviving the ordeal, their sense of belonging to the faction went up. Having an absolute victory must have affected them too. Kwang Hwi carefully checked everyone’s loyalty. All of his direct subordinates had ‘absolute loyalty’. Those who joined his group after the appearance of the monsters all had at least ‘normal’ loyalty. Thankfully, no one had ‘distrust’.
Follows any orders. Will never betray.
Follows most orders.
Trusts in the commander and superiors.
Will follow orders.
Does not trust the commander.
Dissatisfied and could potentially cause a coup d ‘état.
It was a considerable advantage to be able to see the loyalty of the troops as a coup or possible disobedience could be prevented in advance. This was a real monitoring system, eliminating any uncertain factors.
‘Of course, it’s not like I would ever let a coup d ‘état take place. I must thwart any such attempts beforehand’
While Kwang Hwi was still in Africa, he was the second-in-command of the mercenary group. He had plenty of experience in dealing with those under him and knew how to lead stubborn men. Seeing their boss lost in thought in the Situation Room, the subordinates carefully called out to him.
“The Heron will arrive at Yangju City shortly.”
“Connect to the screen.”
The screen in the Situation Room showed the full view of the city. Monkeys were bustling in there. Initially, the city belonged to humans. But now, Monkeys were the ones who walked down the streets or peeked their heads outside the buildings. It almost looked like a settlement of monsters.
“Switch to infrared.”
“Heron switching to infrared.”
The pilot changed the camera mode and a black and white world came into view.
“It can’t detect any heat signatures?”
“The camera is operating normally.”
The Monkeys, giving off no heat signatures, were marked in black. The Heron hovered around Yangju for a long time and no other heat sources were detected, excluding the occasional campfires. They were unable to find any survivors, either.
‘The other survivors mentioned seeing people being dragged elsewhere. That means the Monkeys must have taken them somewhere deeper. But why?’
The situation in Yangju was far worse than Dongducheon. Looking down from the sky, there were more Monkeys than all the monsters combined in Dongducheon. The whole area was teeming with them. They lived in groups inside buildings previously used by people and dozens patrolled the streets. They had a system of their own. The Monkeys carried weapons and there were even ones who appeared to be in charge. It was like a bee colony, with everything in order.
— Ω —
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