36. Tear Gas of Laughter
White gas instantly enveloped the entire area. After a momentary confusion, a sharp pain, an unbearable tingling, and a burning sensation bombarded their senses almost simultaneously. Their noses became uncontrollably runny and their eyes teared up.
“I-it’s tear gas!”
The gangsters, who had looked stronger than everyone else, were now crawling blindly on the floor.
“O-open the window!”
The men near the window fumbled to unlock it. Soon after, some of the rising gas escaped through it. Just as they thought the air had gotten a bit better, a new tear gas canister came in through the open window. Thanks to that, those who were inside the room suffered even more. Their actions to save themselves harmed them instead.
Amidst the chaos, the rescue leader acted fast. He didn’t miss the opportunity to escape, especially when no eyes were on him. He hurried to help other survivors get back on their feet.
“Now is our only chance! Please get up!”
No one was in good condition after receiving such a brutal beating. However, they were going to be in for a lot worse if they didn’t escape now. Groaning in pain, the survivors struggled to stand up. Luckily, they were not restrained at all and quickly regained their mental and physical faculties.
“Everyone, grab on! Don’t let go!”
The rescue leader led the way from the front, raising their spirits all the while. Even though his eyes were scorching and his nose was stinging, he was able to figure out the general direction.
“Get them! Don’t let them escape!”
The don shouted, but no one was in the right state of mind to respond to his commands at the moment. Because of that, the survivors were able to widen the distance and managed to escape the conference room. Thankfully, the hallway was much better than the previous smoke-filled location.
The rescue leader had a hunch the Kwang Hwi Faction had responded to their urgent plea.
— “Resist and you’ll be shot! Drop to your knees immediately!”
An unfamiliar voice came from outside, supporting his idea.
Without taking a breather, Kwang Hwi systematically fired tear gas everywhere. He was shooting evenly on all areas as he didn’t know what kind of defense perimeter the enemy had set up. A cloud of gas leaked out from the window on the fourth floor as its doors opened with a loud bang. While it was a reasonable reaction, the gangsters were practically telling Kwang Hwi where they were hiding.
Without further ado, Kwang Hwi shot tear gas in the opening. He heard faint screams and coughs shortly after. Seeing that, the subordinates pitied those inside.
They were exposed to the tear gas without any masks, certainly not a situation they wished to be in.
— “All members, stay on alert. We don’t know how they will attack.”
The soldiers dragged out the gangsters they had captured from the fire station. After killing two of their comrades, the rest promptly became submissive. They had already confessed to their ploy.
“T-the hostages were meant to be used as meat shields.”
In response, Kwang Hwi reciprocated in kind, making the gangsters kneel in front of the soldiers. With their comrades held as hostages, it wasn’t easy for them to charge out or attack. Looking at the watch, Kwang Hwi muttered.
Before he could finish, the police station’s gate slammed open. The trapped gas escaped from the interior, along with people squirming on the floor. Some of them hit their heads as they couldn’t see properly. The soldiers, who were on full alert, aimed their guns at the gangsters. The prominent leaders of each group amplified their voices.
“Raise both of your hands! Do not move!”
Accompanied by the commands, warning shots were fired into the sky to make them submissive. Despite being disorganized, the thugs quickly fell down when they heard the gunshots. Some gangsters were still struggling, though. In return, they were kicked and smacked with the butt of the rifle.
“Don’t show any mercy. They are our enemy.”
With that, a few thuds and smashes followed as the tough ones were beaten without any remorse.
Before long, the gangsters were tamed into obedience, rolling on the asphalt floor. The apprehending team quickly stepped in to search their bodies. Weapons that were found were thrown far away.
More and more people were forced to kneel in front of the police station. Some of them included women who didn’t have time to dress appropriately, while others looked like captured survivors. Seeing this, some of the soldiers started hesitating to take action. In response, the team leader stepped in to scold them.
“Don’t be sorry later and check them now! Are you going to put your fellow men in danger with your lofty compassion!?”
Only then did the soldiers come back to their senses and hastened their steps. Kwang Hwi waited until the gas was gone. While it didn’t disappear completely, it was much thinner than before, barely a hindrance.
“Team 1 to 5, enter the police station. You are authorized to fire based on judgment.”
— “Authorization received. We’ll start the search.”
Following the order, soldiers wearing gas masks entered the police station.
— “Resisting hostile found. Subdued.”
— “Found a survivor on the second floor. We’ll guide him outside.”
— “The basement is clear.”
As most people had already left the police station, the operation proceeded smoothly. Occasionally, some gangsters would resist with knives, giving them a rough welcome. The soldiers of the Kwang Hwi Faction responded in their own ways.
Shots were fired and blood spewed out as the gangsters fell onto the floor. Clear metallic clangs accompanied the crumbling bodies due to their cherished knives dropping on the tiled surface. Witnessing their grim outcome, the remaining gangsters immediately threw away their weapons.
“W-wait! We’ll surrender!”
One of the soldiers acted like he heard nothing and aimed his gun at the thugs. Even during peaceful times, the gangsters caused harm to him and the others. Just as he was about to shoot, the team leader smacked him on the back.
“Don’t forget what the commander told us.”
“…I’ll mend my ways.”
Another soldier came forward to apprehend the gangsters. During that time, they reunited with team 3, who had headed to the other side.
“Fourth floor clear!”
Gently tapping on the soldier’s shoulder, the team leader reported the news back to Kwang Hwi.
“Commander! We just need to secure the roof now!”
The men went upstairs together with the sound of military boots reverberating in the vicinity. The member who had turned the doorknob shouted.
The team leader promptly issued an order.
“Bring the sticky bomb.”
Right behind, another soldier brought a backpack he was wearing on his chest. Taking out a wrapped rectangular package, he attached it to the door and pulled the pin in the middle. It sparked a bright fire; everyone quickly backed away. Then the soldier pushed on the detonator.
With a loud bang, the iron door flung to the other side. The men set foot on the rooftop, passing through the faint cloud of dust and gas. Beyond the entrance, they could see the broad back of a burly man. He was huge, even for the Kwang Hwi Faction’s standard. They circled the man in a semicircle formation, ready to fire at any given moment.
“Raise your hand and kneel! Now!”
Despite the numerous warnings, the don didn’t move.
Instead, he laughed for reasons unknown to everyone.
The soldiers were taken aback at his sudden outburst. They didn’t think he would be so jovial even under such a dire situation.
‘Is he insane?’
“The world of people is really unpredictable.”
“Shut up! Get on the floor. Right now!”
Sensing something amiss, the team leader shouted again. However, the don only continued.
“I thought it would all end here, but I was wrong.”
“This is your last warning! Slowly lie down on the floor!”
As the team leader was about to pull the trigger, he flinched. The don was glowing in bright light.
The don swung his fist towards the team leader. It was a massive fist, much bigger than an average human. On instinct, the team leader raised his gun to protect his face. With a resounding crack, the assault rifle snapped like a straw toy. The momentum behind the punch crashed onto the team leader, sending his body flying into the air.
The soldiers, who were standing behind and witnessing everything, fired their weapons at the man. The assault rifles spat fire, sending hundreds of bullets in a matter of seconds. However, the bulletstorm was in vain as the crushed shells fell onto the floor.
The don, who should have been drilled like a beehive, was standing perfectly fine. On top of that, he was becoming taller and bigger. His torso became thicker, alongside his limbs and it was questionable to call him a human anymore.
‘It’s as if he is a…’
His appearance resembled the Mud Golems they had encountered along the way. The only difference was that instead of dirt, his entire body was covered with iron plates.
Even his voice changed with his body. The don charged towards the soldiers. The men fired non-stop, but their guns soon went silent as they ran out of bullets. While they were hurrying to reach out for a new cartridge, the don closed the gap and swung his fist.
The soldiers, who were trying to reload, swiftly ducked away. Not everyone was lucky, though. A soldier was unable to avoid the fist, which penetrated his chest. While he was wearing a bulletproof vest, it didn’t help at all against the overwhelming force. Blood spewed from his mouth like a broken faucet, mixed with some of his internal organs.
The remaining members didn’t even have a chance to be surprised. The fist that flew like a bolt was now being swung at them. The don jumped on the soldiers like a wolf hunting sheep. With each swing, bodies collapsed onto the floor.
With each deadly attack, screams rang out on the rooftop. In a short period, two entire teams were incapacitated. Only the team leader, who was hit first, was left better off than the others. He had managed to block some of the force with his gun. Raising his upper body with great effort, he grabbed on the radio. He had to tell others about this revelation.
“C-commander! The don became a Mud Go—”
Crushing the team leader’s head like a watermelon, the don looked below. He had only faced a small portion of the Kwang Hwi Faction. Now, it was time for the full course. The don stepped on the railing and directly jumped off the roof. In midair, his eyes met Kwang Hwi.
“New target found. All members, attack!”
The weapons that responded the fastest were the HMGs. Small sparks erupted all over the don’s body, but that was all. They didn’t even manage to slow him down like they did with the Mud Golems.
The car hood of the Light Tactical Vehicle was badly crushed under his assault. Due to the weight of the weapon mounted in front, the rear side was slightly raised. The heavy machine gunner quickly hid his body inside the vehicle. The don’s fist barely grazed his hair, tearing away the mounted HMG like paper.
“I like this very much! Kghaha!”
After taking out one of the vehicles, the don looked around for a new target. There happened to be another Light Tactical Vehicle in front of him. The don leaped from his feet to enjoy the dish served to him. Unfortunately, he was shot by the 30 mm autocannon midair, ruining his meal. From the shock, he flew outside of the police station.
“That won’t be enough! Kghaha!”
“All vehicles focus fire on that crazy bastard.”
— “Roger. We’ll turn him into swiss cheese with the autocannon.”
As the don charged at the Kwang Hwi Faction, two autocannons started spouting flames simultaneously. Large shells slammed into his body and, from the powerful kinetic energy, he was shoved back again. HMGs joined the shell-fest, albeit late. It was a sight to behold. The men had deployed all of their arsenal to take down a single person.
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