9. Expansion (2)
Kwang Hwi and his subordinates were left focusing on the new recruits’ training for the time being. The instructors drilled them harshly, teaching them obedience and mental fortitude.
In the morning, they would begin their day with physical training and shooting practice. By noon, they underwent psychological training to strengthen their resolve. The green soldiers had difficulty adapting to their new lifestyle. Years of complacency drove them to cling onto their peaceful habits. In order to subvert this, the drill sergeants took advantage of a special method: live combat.
A fierce howl thundered, sending a wave of panic through the new recruits. This was their first excursion into the outside world after being indoctrinated into Kwang Hwi’s army. Although the area surrounding the base was largely cleared, dozens of monsters continued to traipse about.
The new recruits couldn’t help but be nervous when faced with threats all around them. It was deeply reminiscent of their first day of the apocalypse. The screams of horror and a sense of futility washed over them as they remembered the distressed cries of their loved ones as they were mutilated and torn to shreds.
Naturally, their drill sergeant wouldn’t let them indulge in the past. A single gunshot rang out, fired from the officer’s rifle, snapping the recruits out of their collective daze.
“What are you doing?! These monsters killed your family! Your friends! It’s time to get your revenge!”
Their eyes turned sharp. Everybody here had lost somebody. Subconsciously, they recalled the stringent training regimen that they had slogged through over the past few days. Their bodies automatically went through the motions as they prepared for battle.
They aimed their rifles and fired toward the monsters. The Keku staggered back at the incoming fire, but held their ground and shrieked at their opponents. Fortunately, the recruits remembered that the Keku’s defense was exceptional and they did not panic.
In that short confrontation, they found themselves exposed to the frightening truth: the world they once knew was gone. The police and military had all gone missing and the government was in shambles. Monsters ran rampant while they were left to fend for themselves in a brand new world.
All in all, this mission was just what the doctor ordered. With most Korean men having military experience, the recruits were simply using the skills they already had. In the beginning, the men found themselves easily flustered but, over time, they grew to become capable soldiers. The camaraderie built between the recruits made them fiercely loyal to Kwang Hwi’s cause.
On the final day of training, Kwang Hwi and his subordinates hosted a graduation ceremony for the new recruits and presented them each with a military uniform and badge he purchased from the Merit Shop. The 10 individuals who graduated today stood at attention as Kwang Hwi offered his congratulations. Of the 10 recruits, 8 of them were promoted to Private. The remaining two, the squad leader and deputy respectively, were promoted to Private First Class.
“Good work, everyone. As you continue to distinguish yourself in battle, your rank will rise to reflect your contributions. Over time, you will have the opportunity to ascend in rank—not just to Sergeant. With ample opportunity to rise to the occasion, you can become a military officer.”
The recruits’ eyes widened.
“Keep in mind, while it’s good to contribute, the most important thing you can do is survive. Let’s all work hard to survive until the very end.”
“To the boss! Salute!”
The recruits raised their right hands in unison and stomped together with military poise; they all felt that their training had been worthwhile. There was no military anthem, Kwang Hwi felt there was no need for them to prove their allegiance or sing a congratulatory song like the Korean military did. After receiving the salute, he stepped down from the podium.
From here, everybody could see him face to face. Kwang Hwi made sure they understood that, even if they weren’t soldiers, they couldn’t sit around doing nothing. Some were assigned to cook for the soldiers, while others were tasked to search houses and factories after monsters were cleared from the area. There were even those who were sent out to survey land for expansion and construction work. Most people were assigned to the production of necessary goods that supported the Kwang Hwi Faction. Even the elderly, who had poor physical capabilities, were no exception to this rule. They could pick up garbage around the compound and do simple chores, like cleaning.
After training had concluded, Kwang Hwi headed immediately to the container yard with his new force.
“Send in the drone.”
One of the subordinates following Kwang Hwi pulled out a drone from his vest. It was a miniature drone approximately the size of a removable phone battery. He had found this in the [Communication/Reconnaissance] category of the Merit Shop. The subordinate placed the drone on the floor and spread its folded wings.
『Snipe Nano Quadrotor』
『A miniature stealth drone made by the AV Company. It was specifically designed for short-range reconnaissance and surveillance. Weighing 140g, it has a maximum speed of 36 km/h and an operational range of 1km.』
『Price: 250 MP.』
It was easy to carry around and even had access to infrared cameras. Between that and the relatively cheap cost, it was extremely convenient for Kwang Hwi’s needs. With its four rotors, the drone flew into the sky. Circling around the container yard, it provided the militia with a full view of their surroundings.
Multiple containers were neatly stacked next to each other along the far side of the yard. On the other side, trucks and cranes lay dormant—likely once used to transport the containers.
“Any sign of monsters?”
“Not even one?”
Kwang Hwi took his gun and fired a few candid shots outside. A still silence washed over the abandoned yard as the SUV lurched forward, escorting a Medium Tactical Vehicle.
『Medium Tactical Vehicle』
『A prototype model developed to replace the existing military transports. Per military standard, it features a bulletproof frame that can transport 28 fully armed soldiers at a time. Run-flat tires are installed to guarantee the vehicle’s mobility. Modifications can be made to the vehicle to install machine guns and other weapons in the carrier compartment.』
As always, the Merit Shop spoiled Kwang Hwi. In the carrier, soldiers who had just finished their training were awaiting further instructions. When the vehicle screeched to a halt, the soldiers quickly deployed into the surrounding area. From there, the 10 recruits split into pairs with one of Kwang Hwi’s subordinates leading each of the 5 squads. Kwang Hwi stood back and waited for them to secure the perimeter.
— “Team 1. All clear.”
— “Team 2, reporting. No issue!”
— “Team 3. Clear.”
— “Team 4. Nothing special.”
— “Same here for Team 5.”
The men started transporting the containers, the handpicked soldiers claimed the vehicles and secured containers for use. Once the truck was in position, the crane moved the container in place. Aside from the crane, there was also the reach stacker, which was a specialized forklift for handling containers. As the soldiers expected, the vehicles generated a lot of noise which could attract a horde of Keku. In order to combat this, the new recruits maintained a tight perimeter around the container yard at designated patrol points to keep watch for incoming attacks.
“Everything’s going smoothly.”
“Boss, isn’t it nice when things go as planned?”
Kwang Hwi nodded grimly. As enticed as he was at the prospect of everything going as planned, he knew that it was extremely rare for everything to succeed without a hitch. His contentment didn’t last, however, as one of his Majors soon sounded the alert.
— “Boss! A horde of Keku are approaching from 5 o’clock!”
He sighed. Of course it couldn’t possibly be this easy. Grabbing the communications device, he asked for more information. “How many?”
— “It’s… preliminary estimates are nearing 500!”
— Ω —
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