55. To Seoul (3)
The Shorter Lord’s face distorted in stress. Unlike its dwarfish minions, the Shorter’s Lord version was as big as an adult male human being.
“What’s the problem?”
“My brethren are rapidly decreasing in number.”
Although they didn’t possess advanced means of reconnaissance, such as the UAV Heron, each member was a Lord variant of an entire race. It was in their instinct to know when their people were suffering. It was as if a cluster of ethereal strings in their heads were disconnected all at once.
They might be monsters, but they still possessed emotions for their own race. And the feeling was not enjoyable nor easy to accept. Furthermore, their higher level of intelligence only worsened the pain.
“You are not alone. We are all suffering.”
The Armor Lord also wore a somber expression. In this joint offense, its race was tasked with drawing out the Kwang Hwi Faction’s attention. They were chosen because of their large physical stature.
Casualties were expected in the conflict, but the numbers were much bigger than they initially thought. The Kwang Hwi Faction’s armored forces had centered their assault on all sighted Armors, leaving none alive.
A new monster similar to a centipede was also seated among them. However, unlike the insects, it possessed only six legs rather than dozens. The Centi Lord opened its mouth to soothe their pain.
“We are fully aware of your people’s great sacrifice for this cause. Do not worry. When this is all over, we will deliver on our promise.”
“I will hold you to that. 100 humans! No less.”
“I assure you, our appetite does not include humans; therefore, we have no need for them. How could we know that there are much tastier delicacies than trees or rocks in other worlds.”
The Centi Lord licked its lips as it remembered the tasty concrete. It most certainly was a different delicacy.
The other Lords shook their heads in amusement.
“Quite the uh… palette.”
“Nevertheless, let us observe a bit more. If the situation does get worse, we’ll simply retreat our forces to the south, no?”
“Yes, that is an option…”
Oddly enough, there was a good thing in this alien world: they had a place for them to run to. However, the Lords did not realize that they were all already under the mindset of defeat.
A sharp whistling sound made the Lords shift their gazes to outside.
“It’s the sound we heard when Lord Armata died.”
“Quick, we need to act fast.”
“Centi Lord, where are your forces now?”
“My men will arrive soon. They are crossing the bridge as we speak.”
The Lords hastened their actions, encouraging their minions in battle and dispatching their reserve forces.
The A-10’s firepower was like rain in a drought. The command base successfully warded the Shorter’s attack. However, it was too soon to rest, as the armored units outside were still engaging the enemy.
The armored forces were doing their best to move as fast as they could while engaging the enemy, but the monsters were relentless in their pursuit. They would emerge from some corner wherever the troops went.
Some monsters even managed to avoid Heron’s detection. In Gangnam, centipede-like monsters were charging in clusters.
“Restock the choppers and send them as air support. Wipe out all visible targets.”
After the Dragonflies were resupplied, they flew into the air. This time, several of them were equipped with incendiary devices capable of loading napalm. However, it was a double-edged sword, affecting not only the enemy but allies as well. Therefore, regular incendiary bombs were loaded.
A dust cloud marked the choppers’ lift-off.
“Squad One and Two, Dragonflies are currently en route to your position. Hold your ground!”
“Squad Three and Four, turn right from your current position! Large forces of dwarves detected ahead in ambush!”
It was chaos in the command room. Since the situation was dire, it was only natural for the official’s voices to rise a notch.
Amidst all the chaos, Kwang Hwi was calmly observing the digital map and opened his mouth.
“Despite being a mix of races, they’re all collectively targeting us. There’s a high chance that they have formed some sort of an alliance.”
If word had gotten out that the Kwang Hwi Faction had slain Armata, then the current situation could be easily explained. The enemy realized that they would be likely exterminated one by one, so they combined their forces.
“…Their leaders must be gathered somewhere.”
“They’re too well coordinated for it to be a simple alliance. Here, look at this.”
Kwang Hwi controlled the camera, showing the Kwang Hwi Faction’s armored units being chased by monsters.
“Over there, look.”
An Armor was charging towards the tank, and the crew members were most likely fixated on the Armor. Meanwhile, some dwarves were silently attempting to climb the side of the tank, while a few were throwing stones towards the track. They were all trying to thwart its movement.
That was not all; the giant mosquitoes shoved their proboscises at the steel armor. Although they failed to do any real damage to the Kwang Hwi Faction, their movements were hard to ignore.
“They’re too organized. They each have a role and are quick to adapt to different situations. Their commanders are definitely observing together right now. That’s the only explanation for the monsters’ fluid coordination.”
The executives understood and nodded.
“Use the Heaven’s Eye Satellite to find these Lords. Let Jackson know immediately once you locate them.”
Jaemin took in a large gulp of oxygen as he caught his breath. Even during all this madness, his eyes were fixed on the Industrial Bank building.
‘Why are they there?’
Dozens of monsters were surrounding the Industrial Bank building in his vision. The races were not limited to the centipede monster he was chasing. Instead, the place was rife with dwarf monsters and mosquitoes, if they were enlarged dozens of times their size.
However, the only peculiarity was that they were all tucked up in the corner of a garden or inside the building. It was as if they were hiding from something.
‘Whatever. As long as I can get my revenge.’
Jae Min didn’t have time to waste. He carefully approached the Industrial Bank building, using bushes and trees in Yeouido Park as cover. It was easy for him to hide due to his small yet agile stature. With every passing second, he was inching closer to his target.
After scanning his surroundings, Jae Min dashed towards Yeouido Park exit 7 and hid behind the sign. Due to his sudden movements, clanking noises escaped his bag. Thankfully, though, there were several trees and shrubs planted across the street from him, hiding his presence from the monsters.
Jae Min put his bag, 5 green soju bottles inside, down on the ground. The bottles contained transparent liquid and a makeshift fuse, crafted from torn clothes, leading out towards the opening. After preparing everything, his hand reached for a lighter in his pocket.
While lighting the fuse, his heart was about to burst out of his chest. Jae Min took a deep breath to calm his nerves. He was fully aware that his survival was unlikely once he threw the bottle.
But he had nothing to lose. His parents were killed by the centipede monsters. Now alone in a dying world, there were no hopes or dreams worth living for. He only had vengeance in his heart. In the end, he decided he’d rather go out with a bang than die a silent death.
‘Burn to death, you fuckers.’
He threw the molotov cocktail with all his might. The Molotov, powered by Jae Min’s desperation, flew majestically and landed on a centipede monster’s head in the flower bed.
The green bottle shattered upon impact. The monster’s body was soaked in oil, and the flame from the fuse naturally lit it up.
Jae Min threw all his remaining Molotovs at the monster. He had skipped meals and spent many days making these bottles of wrath. However, in contrast to the effort Jae Min had poured into them, the results were crude and poor in quality.
However, they were tools that breathed life into his vengeance. The Molotovs flew one by one and caused black smoke to rise up to the sky.
The very first Molotov to land was already engulfing the entire garden in flames. The pine tree, standing majestically, was set ablaze, spreading an acrid stench all over the place.
The monsters were shocked at the sudden change. They rushed to the garden to scout and put out the fire. However, the flames were difficult to quell even if they were dealt with faster, but they were given ample time to burn, enough to produce a pillar of smoke visible from afar.
The centipede monster hit by the Molotov had already turned into ashes. A smile crept onto Jae Min’s face. Although it was only one monster, that was enough. He wouldn’t have been able to kill even one without the Molotovs.
Maybe it was because of the fire, but Jae Min felt a burning sensation rising from the depths of his chest. He didn’t suppress the heat and spat it out.
“GO FUCK YOURSELVES, YOU SONS OF BITCHES!”
A thunderous roar shook his surroundings, causing monsters to give their undivided attention to Jae Min.
An Armor moved his massive body and approached Jae Min. The ground trembled under its steps, and the overwhelming pressure made Jae Min back up without realizing it.
The Armor reached behind and brought forth a spear, a short spear or a javelin, to be exact, but it was still taller than Jae Min. It was significantly thick as well, just as one would expect of a monster’s weapon.
Jae Min felt that this very moment might be his last. He was scared, but what came out of his mouth was the very opposite of his emotions.
The Armor’s face twisted in anger. Despite the clear language barrier, the monster seemed to instinctively understand the meaning behind those words. The Armor raised its arm as the spearhead glistened under the sun. Facing his impending death, Jae Min closed his eyes.
Jae Min still had his eyes closed. However, what welcomed him wasn’t the slashing of the spear cleaving the air. Instead, it was a sharp whistle of something else.
Amid the unknown changes and his shock, Jae Min fell onto his butt. A liquid was dripping on his face, awakening him from his stupor. It was sticky and stank.
“What the hell…”
His eyes opened, and Jae Min saw a horrifying sight—the shredded corpse of the Armor.
Right then, the thundering of a jet sounded in his ears. Jae Min’s eyes went up and became fixed on an aircraft: the A-10.
In the cockpit was a nice-looking (?) soul brother giving him a thumbs-up.
“Crazy boy. You’ve got some guts. I like it.”
Gazing at Jae Min with a sense of pride, Jackson radioed Kwang Hwi back in the command base.
“Boss, Jackson here. I found a strange place.”
“It’s the Industrial Bank building in Yeouido. There are multiple types of monsters gathered here.”
– Be on standby.
While waiting for Kwang Hwi’s orders, Jackson used the GAU-8 Gatling gun to rip apart the nearby monsters. Every now and then, few monsters would go after Jae Min, but Jackson skillfully sniped them down with the Gatling gun, completely denying any attempts at Jae Min’s life.
– Jackson, how many JDAMs do you have?
Jackson confirmed the remaining armaments displayed on the cockpit glass.
– Give them a nice present and circle the vicinity. There’s a high chance the monster Lords are gathered there.
The A-10 did a beautiful curve and rose above the Industrial Bank building.
The JDAM guided bombs attached to the external arm of the A-10 drilled into the rooftop of the building without any mercy.
The building shook under the wrath of the explosives. Although there were only two rounds, the impact was more than enough to scare out any monsters hiding inside.
As expected, a windowpane was smashed to pieces, and monsters of different shapes and forms hurried out of the bank. The monsters waiting on the ground quickly formed a perimeter around the newcomers, acting as their escorts.
Jackson looked down and confirmed them to be the Lord variants.
“Boss! Lord variants found! I see about ten of ‘em! They’re running away!”
– Jackson! After them! They MUST be subdued!
“I gotcha boss. Trust me.”
The A-10 turned in pursuit of the fleeing Lords. The Lords looked behind them, and their faces froze.
“HAHA, where are you guys going!”
The menacing gunfire shook the atmosphere, and the streaks of red rained down on the monsters. It was almost as if the A-10’s sole purpose was to accommodate the GAU-8 Gatling gun.
The Armor Lord, who was at the very back, screamed in pain; it was struck by multiple rounds. Its subordinates were already sprawled on the ground by the side, deader than dead. The seemingly sturdy iron armor failed to fulfill their purpose, let alone coming close to doing so.
Before the shredded Armor even had a chance to hit the ground, a shell came flying and smashed the wings and body of a Giant Mosquito.
At the moment, the A-10 was the harbinger of doom and destruction. After decimating the guards and their Lords in a mere instant, it flew past them and was now turning its head towards the monsters.
There was no place for them to run to. Their hopes and dreams of fleeing to the south were all crushed by the humans’ advanced weaponry. The A-10 was now coming straight at them. To the monsters, it was the angel of death itself.
The white smoke emanating from the GAU-8 lightly embraced the cockpit. At the next instant, the asphalt ground was dug up and debris was sprayed everywhere. The gunfire formed a line of death, and it was approaching the Lords. There was no time to escape anymore.
Black blood splattered in the air.
– Jackson, report.
Jackson raised his altitude and scanned the ground. The fleeing monsters were all lying down in the pool of their own blood. The guards and their superiors all looked the same—dead and torn apart.
“Enemies successfully incapacitated. From above, they all seem to be dead. Should I double-tap?”
Jackson was more than happy to spray the bodies again to confirm his kills. Most would consider it troublesome, but he still had hundreds of rounds and a lot of motivation left to spare. Unfortunately, Kwang Hwi had different things in mind.
– Be on standby. Mi-26 and Dragonflies are headed to Yeouido as we speak.
Not even a few minutes had passed when the Kwang Hwi Faction’s Mi-26 and two Dragonflies arrived at Yeouido Park.
Amidst the whirring of helicopter blades, the soldiers disembarked and vigilantly approached the Lords. They all wore cautious looks while confirming the monsters’ deaths. Just as a soldier was stepping watchfully, he raised his hand all of a sudden.
“This one’s alive!”
The executive acting as field commander rushed towards the soldier. What they found was the Centi Lord. Despite having half of its torso torn apart from the A-10 Gatling gun, it was still breathing.
The executive quickly ordered the soldiers, “Tie this bastard up and put it in the chopper.”
The Kwang Hwi Faction also found Jae Min nearby.
“Commander, we found a surv—”
“Bring him too. Get him in the Mi-26.”
The Mi-26 rose and headed for the Kwang Hwi Faction’s command base.
— Ω —