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Gunshots erupted around Kwang Hwi. He saw the Keku shudder and shake as bullets ripped into its body, its arm drooping as it lost strength. Black blood gushed onto the gravel.
As the Keku’s corpse slumped down, hand still tightly clasping its dagger, Kwang Hwi saw the rest of the monsters rushing towards the gate. The men continued firing, but the Keku used the bodies of their dead comrades to push forwards. As the horde of monsters reached the gate, they rammed into it like a living tidal wave.
The pillars holding the gate in place began to shake dangerously. They hadn’t been built to withstand the overwhelming strength of the Keku. With a violent creaking sound, they were torn from where they stood, sending the iron gate crashing to the ground.
Seizing the opportunity, the Keku swarmed into the compound, letting out shrieks and roars filled with bloodlust. Kwang Hwi opened fire on them.
The sharp staccato of automatic bursts filled the air as Kwang Hwi’s gun jumped again and again. A normal human would be killed by a single shot from a high-powered rifle like the one Kwang Hwi was using. The Keku, on the other hand, could tank 4-5 of the same shots and continue to advance unabated.
Kwang Hwi already knew this after his initial encounter, but his subordinates were clearly alarmed by the Keku’s unexpected durability.
“Automatic bursts,” he ordered calmly, “shoot until they fall!”
His men switched from semi to fully automatic fire and started pouring bullets into the crowd of monsters. The violent roar of their guns was deafening.
The effect was instantaneous. The withering fire tore into the advancing Keku, stopping them in their tracks.The charging horde quickly turned into a pile of corpses.
The gunfire stopped. Dead Keku were scattered all around what was left of the gate.
“Is it over?” As soon as those words were spoken, the ground beneath them started rumbling. Kwang Hwi looked down to see the gravel visibly vibrating.
— “Boss! At least 100 and counting! Approaching from all sides. 550 meters out!”
— “Acknowledged.” Kwang Hwi looked around. “Who needs ammo?”
He quickly purchased several additional magazines and distributed them.
— “450 meters! Guess we’re up.”
— “Firing!” A thunderous boom came from behind Kwang Hwi. It was the sound of a Barrett .50 caliber sniper rifle. It’s massive bullet pierced through a Keku, putting a massive hole in its chest. Its body flew back into a group of Keku, knocking them over like bowling pins. To the Keku, the Barret roared like a savage predator. Each boom of the weapon firing signified another death amongst them. In the face of this overwhelming annihilation, the Keku faltered.
Kwang Hwi reloaded his gun and took aim. He pulled the trigger once. A Keku froze in place, its eye replaced with a gore-filled hole. Its large body slowly crumpled to the ground. It was the confirmation Kwang Hwi wanted. Unlike their sturdy bodies, a Keku’s head was as fragile as a human’s.
Seeing this, the other men started aiming for the monster’s heads as well. The oppressive roar of their rifles was quickly replaced by the sound of precise, semi-automatic fire. The monsters were collapsing in droves, each one with a hole in its head. Facing such a systematic slaughter, their aggressive assault disintegrated.
“Widen the gap,” ordered Kwang Hwi, as he began slowly walking backwards. The men followed suit, making sure to move carefully. Their methodical fire never let up.
Black blood splattered across his cheeks, but Kwang Hwi didn’t even blink. He chose another target and pulled the trigger, causing another yellow flash to erupt from the end of his muzzle. The smell of gunpowder seeped into his nostrils. Another monster fell headfirst.
His crosshair moved again. Another flash. Another tuft of smoke. Another monster. It was a rhythmic cycle of violence. With each shot Kwang Hwi felt himself sink deeper into its flow, the sounds and smells fueling his adrenaline and funneling his concentration. He hadn’t felt like this in a very long time.
A Keku broke through the hail of bullets, somehow still alive. The monster roared as it swung its blade.
Kwang Hwi easily dodged the clumsy attack, letting the monster’s momentum carry it tumbling forwards. The needlessly wide swing left it unable to follow-up and Kwang Hwi quickly took advantage of its mistake, drawing his Glock and pulling the trigger in a single, smooth motion.
The advantages of a compact handgun were well demonstrated in close combat. Bullet holes quickly riddled the monster’s body as it roared again in agony and anger.
Kwang Hwi heard the click of an empty clip as he pulled the trigger again. Without hesitation, he released the magazine, letting it fall through the air. Kwang Hwi kicked the magazine with nearly inhuman precision, sending it rocketing straight at a charging Keku brandishing an axe. The magazine hit the monster in its eye. The pain made it pause for a moment, but that was all the time Kwang Hwi needed. He finished reloading in that brief second and pulled the trigger.
He looked around for his next target and then stopped. There were no more Keku.
— “Soo Min, do you see any more monsters?”
— “Negative. There doesn’t appear to be any reinforcements.”
Kwang Hwi turned to his subordinates. “Alright, if any of you are injured tell me now.”
“Hurt? Ha, that’s funny boss.”
“Come on, don’t look down on us like that.”
He smiled as he confirmed that everyone was okay. “Alright, real good guys. Don’t forget to make sure they’re dead.”
“Roger!” A chorus of voices yelled out.
『You have defeated 10 Keku faster than anybody else in the world.』
『You have obtained 1000 MP.』
『You have defeated 100 Keku faster than anybody else in the world.』
『You have obtained 1500 MP.』
『You have defeated 200 Keku faster than anybody else in the world.』
『You have obtained 2000 MP.』
The announcements appeared one after another. Kwang Hwi was pleased as he read them. ‘Well, it’s only natural. We’re probably the only group in the world with firearms at the moment.’ Certainly, there were people in the world who could deal with these monsters, even if it was through brute strength or the use of primitive weapons. But they wouldn’t be able to kill them as fast as Kwang Hwi’s group.
“Hey boss, what should we do with these corpses?” Jackson asked.
“Let’s take them outside the compound and incinerate them. Someone go and bring up the gasoline from the basement.”
His subordinates got to work quickly and efficiently. The dead bodies were dragged and stacked atop each other, forming a heap of dead Keku. Like the first one, the bodies were quite heavy, but his men were much stronger than the average person.
Jackson brought the gasoline from the basement and quickly poured it all over the monster corpses. Everyone’s noses wrinkled at the strong smell, which overpowered the scent of gunpowder lingering in the air.
Kwang Hwi lit the makeshift pyre with a lighter and, in seconds, thick black fumes rose into the air.
“We’ll head to the supermarket as planned,” Kwang Hwi explained. “Soo Min, Jackson, the two of you will stay here and defend the house. If any monsters approach, take them out with the Barret.” He materialized a few additional .50 caliber magazines, and tossed them to Soo Min. The .50 cal magazines were much more expensive than the others, but Kwang Hwi didn’t feel the need to be overly conservative when arming his men, especially when they still knew so little about the situation.
“No matter how often I see that magic trick, I just can’t get used to it,” Soo Min joked as he caught the magazines.
“Don’t worry boss, I’ll make sure that he doesn’t do anything stupid,” interjected Jackson, pointing at Soo Min.
“Hey Jackson, what’s that supposed to mean, huh?!”
Kwang Hwi left the two behind and motioned for the rest to follow. Ever since they first met, the two of them were always fighting — but in reality they were really close friends.
“Let’s move out!” Kwang Hwi ordered. His men followed him and the group filled two of the cars on the driveway. Luckily, they were still functional.
A sedan and an SUV drove over the destroyed gate and onto the road.
“Boss, we’ll arrive in 10 minutes.”
“Alright.” Unlike his subordinates, who were on edge, Kwang Hwi had a calm expression as he stared out the window. ‘An entire 30 round magazine of 5.56 is only 1MP… unlike the .50 cal mags, at 1MP a bullet. Well, thanks to the points I got from those 200 Keku I should have more than enough MP.’
His musings were cut short by one of his men. “We’re almost there, boss.”
Sure enough, the densely packed apartments of downtown quickly came into view. The normally busy streets were empty and abandoned cars lay strewn about the road. Kwang Hwi grimaced as they passed by the mangled bodies that dotted their surroundings. Black smoke billowed somewhere in the distance. It was the end of the world.
“Keku up ahead!” one of his subordinates yelled suddenly. Kwang Hwi looked forward. An absent-minded Keku, holding a knife in one hand and a round object in the other, milled about in the middle of the road.
“Run it over.” Kwang Hwi said.
“Roger.” The driver slammed the gas and the car lurched forward with a roar. The Keku finally turned and saw the vehicle, but it was too late. With a sickening crunch it flew into the air.
The knife and the round object flashed past the car. It was a human head. Kwang Hwi quietly shook his head in disgust.
Besides the one they hit, the group didn’t encounter any more Keku, which relieved him. His group was here to secure supplies. The fewer Keku they encountered, the better.
After arriving at the supermarket, Kwang Hwi instructed the driver to head towards the warehouse. The two cars drove past the customer parking lot and headed towards the back of the building. Enormous box trucks branding the supermarket’s logo sat in the warehouse.
The cars stopped with a screech and the group piled out. Kwang Hwi handed silencers and hand grenades to his men, who hastily attached the silencers to their guns. “Two of you will stay here and defend the cars,” he instructed. In case of an emergency, Kwang Hwi wanted these two cars to be ready to escape at a moment’s notice.
The drivers nodded and stayed put as Kwang Hwi led the rest of the group inside. The door, which was supposed to be locked tight, was wide open.
— Ω —
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