“The meeting will commence now.”
Kwang Hwi attended the meeting with his subordinates. The screen displayed videos and images taken from the UAV over the past few days.
“After observing Yangju for several days, we have concluded that the number of ‘Monkeys’ in the city is size-four.”
His subordinates could not hide their shock. Size-four meant that their numbers exceeded ten thousand. They recalled how they killed thousands of monsters in Dongducheon and felt a bit proud and accomplished. In comparison, tens of thousands was a completely different ball game.
“Their biggest trait is their ability to reproduce. The population is increasing by hundreds—if not thousands—every day. While they initially maintained their power around Yangju City Hall, their forces have started branching out everywhere as the days go by.”
It would have been better if they were expanding with their existing numbers. If that were the case, they would have thinned out to cover a larger area. The problem was that their population density continued to grow and they were using their newborns to expand their territory. It allowed them to maintain their hold over the regions they were extending their operations to.
Two pictures were then shown side by side, providing a comparison to the viewers.
“These pictures were taken three days ago and this morning, respectively. Yangju City Hall and the east are both occupied by Monkeys.”
“This is a bit…”
The gathered men lamented at the scene. The white areas were dyed in black. Without a doubt, the black dots were Monkeys. They were spreading like a locust swarm, rapidly engulfing everything. The eastern side of Yangju was much larger than the entirety of Dongducheon, but it was still conquered in a matter of three days. This matter could not be taken lightly.
“For us, this means that we need to move quickly because…”
A new image was displayed. It showed the administrative districts of Dongducheon and Yangju, where West Dongducheon met East Yangju.
“Once the Monkeys completely capture Yangju City, we’ll need to face them at two fronts.”
“It will only get harder the longer we drag this out.”
The fortification of Dongducheon City was finally finished. It had no weakness and was able to defend against an attack even if it were from two directions. However, that was only against forces as big as size-three.
“What if we were attacked from two fronts by a size-four?”
No one replied as the implications were clear. While Kwang Hwi Faction grew in magnitude recently, there were only 155 people at the end of the day, nowhere near the humongous scale of the Monkey horde.
Based on the Korean military standards, they were equivalent to a company. But, it wasn’t like the entire company was defending a single area. Instead, they were evenly divided into a few groups, each responsible for its own zone. In the worst-case scenario, they could deploy the SPG to defend against a size-three attack. But, beyond that?
“Even now, there is a size-three horde moving northward. They will engage us from the South. At this rate, we’re going to have size-three attacks on a daily basis near the Southern Wall.”
“We’ll strike first.”
Everyone looked at Kwang Hwi.
“How is the Heron?”
“It’s operational. The engineers that joined recently are taking good care of it.”
The Heron was instrumental. Ever since they had acquired the Heron from the underground base, it had been deployed every day for recon missions. It should have been damaged from overuse, but the engineers were making sure it was in pristine condition.
“We’ll deploy the SPG.”
The men exclaimed. In hindsight, the men forgot the Kwang Hwi Faction had an effective long-range weapon. The SPG’s maximum range was 40 km and the distance between Dongducheon and Yangju City Hall was within 18 km. Even without lifting a finger, they could effectively strike the Monkeys and lay waste to their numbers. All they had to do was deploy the Heron to acquire firing data.
“That’s right, we have an SPG!”
“But boss, will one SPG be enough?”
With a clang, Kwang Hwi stood up and headed towards the window. He pulled back the thick curtains, allowing sunlight to pour in.
『K-9 ‘Thunder’ SPG.』
『A self-propelled gun developed and employed by the Republic of Korea. Powered by a 1000 horsepower diesel engine with hydropneumatic suspension, it has an excellent capacity for tackling rugged terrain. An automated fire control system and auto-loader allow the first shell to be fired within a minute of maneuvering into position. It boasts excellent firepower with its 155mm howitzer main armament.』
『Would you like to purchase?』
‘I’ll buy it.’
『Please select the area to deploy the SPG.』
Kwang Hwi chose the City Hall’s parking lot, right next to the first K-9 SPG.
Above the empty space, an imposing SPG was constructed. On one side of its main body frame, it had the Kwang Hwi Faction’s symbol. The soldiers who were passing by glanced at it. While it was amusing at first, they had grown accustomed to the scene, so the men continued on their way without overreacting. Naturally, the subordinates present in the room saw it too. Kwang Hwi gestured towards the parking lot with a nod.
“Now, we have two.”
While Kwang Hwi wanted to purchase as many SPG as he could, he only had enough points to buy one. With the remaining MP, he had to purchase the necessary ammunition. Otherwise, the weapons would just be paperweights.
“First of all, we’ll deal with the size-three horde approaching from the south.”
The men left the conference room with bright faces, except for one.
“What is it, Soo Min?”
“As you are well aware, the SPG will only buy us some time. The biggest issue right now is dealing with the Monkey’s abnormal fertility. We have to solve this problem somehow.”
“Do you have some plan in mind?”
Kwang Hwi realized Soo Min had misunderstood him.
“I think you have the wrong idea.”
“After we take care of the size-three horde, we’ll attack their base.”
“By base, do you mean… Yangju City Hall?”
Soo Min’s face became pale at the confirmation.
“T-then, we may kill all the survivors in Yangju along with the supplies.”
Kwang Hwi turned around to look at Soo Min and showed a determined look. Soo Min gulped quietly at his resoluteness.
“This is also the safest method possible.”
In the current situation, the Monkeys exceeded size-four. No matter how well the operation was planned, casualties could not be avoided. In layman’s terms, a single soldier had to fight against 150 Monkeys. While it was essential to secure supplies and save survivors, it was more important to minimize the damage Kwang Hwi Faction would face.
“Soo Min, you must remember this: we are a militia and our main objective isn’t to save civilians. It’s to ensure the safety of those in the Kwang Hwi Faction.”
“Increase the frequency of radio broadcasts. Try to inform the people of Yangju City so that they can at least prepare for it.”
After saluting, Soo Min left the room. Kwang Hwi looked away, towards the window once again.
“Please move out of the way! The vehicles are passing by!”
Soldiers carrying traffic rods cleared the area near the SPG and those passing by hastened their steps to move aside. After confirming no one was nearby, the drivers started the engines to move the SPG forward.
The continuous tracks of the vehicle rotated and the 47-ton heavy metal behemoth raced ahead. The Light Tactical Vehicles that were on standby quickly cut in front to lead the way. The SPGs were headed towards the Dongducheon High School near the City Hall. The soldiers who were contacted in advance were waiting there with the gates wide open. The school was usually used to train new recruits. Now that the training was over, it was empty.
The SPGs were parked in the middle of the schoolyard. Dust smoke rose into the air, following their halt. The UAV in the air checked on the Monkey horde’s location and sent the data to the SPGs.
The supporting ring fell, lifting the 8-meter long gun barrel. The automatic loading system inserted the shell while the soldiers finished loading it with gunpowder.
“SPG 1 loaded!”
“SPG 2 loaded!”
After confirming that both SPGs were loaded, the commander shouted.
A cloud of gas gushed from the gun barrel along with fine dust particles. While the frame shook from the recoil, it quickly recovered its balance. The shell instantly covered the 10 km distance and fell right above the size-three Monkey horde.
Wrapped around the explosion, the simian monsters vanished without a trace. Soon after, the asphalt road, which was previously covered in black dots, revealed itself. Flesh was glued to the floor from the intense heat, creating a grotesque scenery.
After reloading, new shells were fired with a loud roar, recreating the same scenery a bit further down the road. The SPGs continued shooting. Every minute, it fired 2 ~ 3 rounds or approximately 120 ~ 180 shells an hour. The Monkeys tried to escape from its firing range, but the SPGs immediately corrected its trajectory towards the most concentrated areas. Whenever the SPGs were pushed back from the recoil, they would quickly come back to their original position.
『You have defeated 4000 Monkeys faster than anybody else in the world.』
『As a reward…』
『You have defeated 4500 Monkeys faster than anybody else in the world.』
『As a reward…』
『You have defeated 5000 Monkeys faster than anybody else in the world.』
『As a reward…』
Kwang Hwi’s MP quickly rose as the constant announcements made him feel dizzy. He decided to just close his eyes so that he couldn’t see the alerts.
The gunshots, which could be heard at set intervals, all stopped. The Heron hovered around the surroundings to check on the status of the enemy. The rain of steel brought about complete devastation. Buildings that could be seen occasionally were all destroyed without mercy and there were no Monkeys left alive.
— “Annihilation confirmed!”
“SPG 1 has 38 left!”
“SPG 2 has 39 left!”
The maximum loading capacity they had was 48 shells, and they did not even use half of it.
“Monkeys usually live inside buildings. Rather than shooting towards the ground, focus on destroying those constructions.”
“You are absolutely right, sir.”
The commander agreed with Kwang Hwi’s words. If they took down the buildings, they could effectively reduce the number of Monkeys.
“When should we resume firing?”
Kwang Hwi checked his watch. While he had told Soo Min not to show pity, he didn’t want to cause unnecessary civilian casualties. That’s because they had to integrate the survivors into the Kwang Hwi Faction in order to grow.
“Continue firing tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock. Until then, have the SPGs reloaded and let the soldiers rest.”
“8 o’clock tomorrow, affirmative.”
This gave the survivors a 12-hour leeway. While some may say that it’s not enough, it was better than shooting without warning. In this do-or-die era, they had already shown enough tolerance.
“Keep the radio on. Is there still nothing?”
“Last time, it definitely caught something!”
A young man was tuning the radio with a solemn expression. He didn’t care about his lamenting companion right next to him.
“Why are you doing something so pointless? Didn’t I tell you to trust me? The underground warehouse is filled with food and we can survive here for years to come.”
“Are you going to live here forever? You should at least know what’s going on out there. And what are you going to do about the monsters roaming around?”
— “Gr*** to ***vors…”
Abruptly, there was some static, and then came a distorted voice from the radio. The man hastily adjusted the frequency. The faint voice became more and more distinct.
— “Greetings to all survivors. This is the Kwang Hwi Faction’s radio broadcast on 108.5 MHZ.”
“I found something!”
Even the grumbling friend quickly approached the radio. It was the first radio broadcast they had heard in a month, so he was also curious.
— “Kwang Hwi Faction have fully secured the entire Dongducheon City. We are now waiting to reunite with the nearby survivors. We provide food, shelter, and safety from monsters.”
“Kwang Hwi Faction? What kind of army is that?”
“I’m not sure. Dongducheon is… north, right?”
The two chatted but did not miss the crucial details. Food and shelter were provided alongside the protection from monsters and such.
— “A monster called ‘Monkey’ was found in Yangju City. Their numbers are rapidly increasing and have completely taken over Yangju City Hall and the eastern side of the city.”
“It’s the same monsters we met on the first day, right?”
“I mean they’re calling it Monkeys, so probably?”
— “We have confirmed that Monkeys are approaching our territories in Dongducheon, and we plan to annihilate the horde with our K-9 SPGs.”
The two men looked at each other with disbelief. The horde had thousands of monsters, and they wanted to raze them all. But the more surprising news was that…
— “Kwang Hwi Faction plan to bombard a portion of Yangju tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock. It is to curb the Monkeys’ rapidly growing population. The survivors in the vicinity should leave the city or evacuate underground if possible.”
“Don’t we need to run away too?”
“What are we going to do about the monsters outside?”
“…Fuck, you’re right.”
— Ω —
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